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National Institute of Education (Singapore)
Tay, L. Y., Chong, S. K., Ho, C. F., & Aiyoob, T. B. (2020). A review of metacognition: Implications for teaching and learning (NIE Working Paper Series No. 17). Singapore: National Institute of Education.
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NIE Working Paper Series;17
This working paper reviews the literature on metacognition and suggests ways of acquiring metacognition in student learning. In Singapore, metacognition has been a key feature of the Mathematics and English Language curricula and is postulated to gain more prominence in the teaching and learning of Mathematics and English Language in the state’s schools in the 2020 syllabuses. This paper locates the relevance of the concept of metacognition within the broader context of future economy and the imperative of developing in students the 21st century skills (e.g., problem-solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration, adaptability, and digital literacy skills). Current concerns about the challenges of “future” learning and economy may be addressed by the concept of metacognition. Metacognition, according to Flavell (1979), is about “one's knowledge concerning one's own cognitive processes …” (p. 906) or simply “thinking about one’s thinking”. Helping students to become aware of themselves as learners and to take control of their learning process through concepts linked to metacognition are possible ways of preparing learning at school and beyond, and for the future. In this regard, this working paper introduces the components of metacognition and outlines the ways in which students’ metacognition is measured. In meeting the challenges of the future economy that involve solving unimagined problems in new contexts or domains, this paper also discusses the importance of domain-specificity and domain-generality of metacognition in education, and reveals the current inconsistency which researchers have in defining the two terms. The paper concludes with a brief summary of metacognitive strategies used in four different domains—(a) language and literacy instruction; (b) learning of Mathematics; (c) learning of Science; and (d) learning of humanities subjects—which teachers can draw upon for classroom-based learning and beyond. Implications for policy, practice and future research are also discussed.
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