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Assessing Metacognitive Deficiencies and Effectively Instructing Metacognitive Skills


by Marcel V. J. Veenman — 2017

Metacognitive skills refers to individual abilities for regulating and controlling learning behavior. Orientation, goal setting, planning, monitoring, and evaluation are manifestations of those skills. Given that metacognitive skills directly affect learning behavior, they are a strong predictor of learning performance. Students display a huge variation in metacognitive skillfulness, dependent on age and experience. In this article, metacognitive skills are considered to be an acquired program of self-instructions, that is, an orderly series of condition-action rules that contain conditional knowledge about when to apply which skill, and operational instructions for how to implement a particular skill. This notion has implications for effective metacognitive instruction in deficient students. Prior to instruction, on-line assessments of metacognitive skillfulness during actual task performance are indispensable for the identification of deficient students and for tailoring metacognitive instruction to the individual needs of students. Instruction should subsequently address what skill to perform when, why, and how (WWW&H), embedded within the context of a given task. Moreover, instruction should explicitly inform students about the benefits of applying metacognitive skills to make them exert the required effort. Finally, teachers may act as role model to students by including explicit metacognitive instruction in their lessons.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 13, 2017, p. -
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21923, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 12:17:28 PM

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About the Author
  • Marcel Veenman
    Institute for Metacognition Research
    E-mail Author
    MARCEL VEENMAN was formerly affiliated with the Universities of Amsterdam and Leiden for 28 years as cognitive psychologist. Currently, he is director of the Institute for Metacognition Research. Besides coordinating research, he gives lectures and workshops for teachers in primary, secondary, and higher education. He published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters on metacognition and self-regulation. From 2006 to 2011, he was founding editor of Metacognition and Learning, an international journal published by Springer.
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