Both adults and children have very limited knowledge of how their mind works and how to learn, so they need explicit training on cognitive processes and optimal learning strategies. Metacognition is a person’s knowledge or judgments of memory, learning, planning, problem solving, and decision processes. Students’ metacognition can be mislead by folk wisdom of a culture about cognition and their making incorrect analyses of there personal mental experiences. The vast majority of adults are not good at planning, selecting, monitoring, and evaluating their strategies of self-regulated learning. Most students have trouble discovering important principles on their own, without guidance and scaffolding by teachers. Occasionally the learning materials have precisely the right characteristics and affordances to stimulate discovery by the student, but that is rare and difficult to engineer. As a consequence, there needs to be explicit training and practice before students acquire adequate metacognition, self-regulated learning, and discovery learning.
- Teachers and learning environments need to train students on characteristics of metacognition and strategies of self-regulated learning and discovery learning. These capacities and skills do not come naturally to most adults. Without such instructional mediation, students lack the ability to effectively read for particular purposes, search through hypertext/hypermedia, select actions in interactive simulation environments, and design systems that satisfy multiple constraints.
- Azevedo, R., & Cromley, J.G. (2004). Does training on self-regulated learning facilitate students’ learning with hypermedia. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 523-535.
- Maki, R.H. (1998). Test predictions over text material. In D.J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky, & A.C. Graesser (Eds.). Metacognition in educational theory and practice (pp. 117-144), Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- White, B., & Frederiksen, J. (1998). Inquiry, modeling, and metacognition: Making science accessible to all students. Cognition and Instruction, 16, 3-117.
- Winne, P.H. (2001). Self-regulated learning viewed from models of information processing. In B. Zimmerman & D. Schunk (Eds.), Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theoretical perspectives (pp. 153-189). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.