Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Metacognition, self-regulation and meta-knowing

Whitebread, D. and Pino-Pasternak, D.ORCID: 0000-0002-1030-7458 (2010) Metacognition, self-regulation and meta-knowing. In: Littleton, K., Wood, C. and Kleine-Staarman, J., (eds.) International Handbook of Psychology in Education. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, UK, pp. 673-711.

Google Books Preview:
*Open access. Some pages may not be available


Since its original conception in the early 1970s by John Flavell and Ann Brown, the area of ‘metacognition’ (i.e. the processes whereby individuals become increasingly aware of and able to control their own cognitive processes) has developed into a highly significant field of research, which has major implications for education at all levels and across the entire span of the curriculum.

This significance arises from two well-established findings within the now considerable research literature. First, that a learner’s metacognitive skilfulness makes a contribution to their effectiveness as a learner independent of traditionally measured intelligence (Veenman & Spaans, 2005). Indeed, some researchers have claimed that its makes the major contribution to learning (Wang, Haertel, & Walberg, 1990); certainly, metacognitive deficits have been found to be a key problem for many children with learning difficulties (Sugden, 1989). Second, that metacognitive and ‘self-regulatory’ abilities are highly teachable, as indicated by a wide range of intervention studies with all age groups (Hattie, Biggs, & Purdie, 1996; Swanson, Hoskyn, & Lee, 1999; Dignath, Buettner, & Langfeldt, 2008).

This chapter reviews this evidence alongside the other major developments and controversies in the field. These include debates about the role of implicit learning and consciousness in metacognitive processes, about the broadening of the conception of metacognition into self-regulation, incorporating affective and motivational as well as purely cognitive processes and about the assessment and measurement of metacognitive achievements.

A particular focus of this chapter will be the recent renewed interest in early metacognitive development in young children. This work casts new light on a number of the existing controversies listed above and has been supported by new methods of identification and assessment. It also seeks to make links with established work in neuroscience concerned with the early emergence of executive functions in the young human brain and with the considerable body of research concerned with the young child’s development of a ‘theory of mind’ (ToM). The conceptual reframing of models of metacognition and self-regulation under the broader conception of ‘meta-knowing’ (Kuhn, 2000) is one outcome of current work in these areas. In the educational arena, this work is beginning to inform and support current concerns about the nature and significance of young children developing as ‘independent’ learners.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright: 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Item Control Page Item Control Page