Date of this Version
Peteranetz, M.S. (2014). Fostering metacognition in the middle school classroom: An exploration of teachers' practices (Masters thesis, University of Nebraska). Retrieved from UNL Digital Commons.
This thesis investigated how middle school teachers foster metacognition through instruction. Metacognition is the knowledge and awareness of one’s thinking as well as monitoring and control of thought processes. Metacognition is related to student achievement and can be increased through both implicit and explicit instruction. Explicit instruction takes place when the teacher points out, explains, or discusses the benefits of metacognition. Implicit instruction occurs when the teacher models or prompts the use of metacognition without expressly acknowledging or discussing it. This thesis used both quantitative and qualitative methods to determine the extent that metacognition is fostered in middle school classrooms and the beliefs and efforts of teachers who frequently make metacognition part of their teaching. Participants were middle school teachers from a medium-sized city in the Midwest. Data was collected in three phases: the Survey Phase, the Observation Phase, and the Interview Phase. Participants completed a survey on classroom practices that foster metacognition. Five participants who completed the survey were observed teaching for two class periods. Observations focused on what teachers did and said to foster metacognition. Four participants who were observed were then interviewed. Interviews focused on the role of metacognition in participants’ classrooms and influences on participants’ use of metacognition instruction. Results indicated that previous research has underestimated the amount of metacognition instruction that takes place in classrooms, that teachers intentionally foster metacognition in a variety of ways, and that teachers use more implicit instruction than explicit instruction. Implications for teacher training are discussed.
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