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Thinking About Thinking: What is Metacognition

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Components of Metacognition
  4. Metacognition and Academic Achievement
    Metacognition and Self-Regulation
  5. Conclusion


The examination of metacognition is the aim for the essay which includes the theoretical background on the current topic. Here the author will identify the definition and components of metacognition, summarize it in conclusion.


This is an accepted view that during 1970’s John Flavel has brought the concept of metacognition in developmental psychology. He described metacognition that in human and non human environment there can be any kind of cognitive occurrence, there is variety of activities on information processing that may go on. It also includes the affective monitoring and further regulates the processes of cognitive data, usually in service of some explicit objectives and goals. Another contributor to metacognition literature is Ann Brown, she proposed that cognitive knowledge and cognitive regulation are the two basic principles of metacognition that are important for the process of learning. Cognitive knowledge has three main components of knowledge that are declarative, procedural, and conditional. Cognitive regulation is the second ingredient of metacognition that includes planning, regulation and evaluation. The first component helps individuals to particularly allot their means and make use of strategies more adequately and effectually and second component is connected to more organized and systematic skills namely planning, monitoring and evaluation.

According to Dinsmore, Alexander & Loughin, the concept of metacognition can be described as to monitor and control the cognition it is individuals’ thinking process about their own cognitive processes. The notion of metacognition is divided into two main groups namely ‘knowledge about cognition’ and ‘metacognitive skills’. Knowledge about cognition means that individuals have comprehension regarding their own cognitive strategies and activities whereas cognitive skills can be explained as procedure that organize and control cognition like planning, monitoring and evaluating. The relationship of metacognitive awareness with intelligence has been the topic for many researchers. Many researchers found that there is compelling relationship between metacognition and intelligence. Metacognition is a term that is defined as an individual’s competence by making use of previous knowledge to form a strategy for addressing a task, take certain actions to deal with a problem, analyze and assess results, and change one’s approach as required. Metacognition facilitates students to opt the right cognitive tool for the task and plays a crucial role in successful learning. Nongtodu & Bhutia have identified the components of metacognition in their study which are as follow:

Components of Metacognition

  • Metacognitive Knowledge (it refers to individuals’ cognitive processes that being cognitive processors what they know about themselves and others).
  • Metacognitive regulation (it includes the regulation of learning experiences and cognition by a set of activities that assist individuals to handle their own learning).
  • Metacognitive skills (it involve the controlling of processes such as planning, strategy use, effort allocation and regulation of cognition).


Metacognition and Academic Achievement

Metacognition is closely associated with academic achievement and learning processes as it comprises awareness of students’ own thinking processes and ability to control their own cognitive system. Awareness of high metacognition in students makes them mindful of what they know and what they don’t know because these individuals are successful at planning, managing of information, settling strategies, monitoring, adjusting and evaluating. So it is said that metacognition has a effective effect on students’ academic achievement. Metacognition, learning processes and academic achievement are closely related. By teaching metacognitive skills and knowledge, students can enhance their influence on their academic achievement and learning processes. In many researches it has been concluded that there is significance of metacognitive awareness in successful learning. For example, students who gain high scores on measures of metacognition are more strategic, students who use metacognitive strategies are more tend to be problem solvers, they are better at predicting their exam scores.


Self-regulation is a mindful process that is used by learners, it focuses on the usage of range of strategies such as setting of goals, organization, time management, self-evaluation and self-monitoring. The purpose of self-regulated learning is to benefit life-long learning. It is defined as the actions and feelings that illustrate an inclination to gain individual’s goals. Pintrich, explains that self-regulation is an active and constructive process whereby students set their targets and goals for their learning and then they pursue to control, regulate and monitor their cognition, behavior and motivation.

Metacognition and Self-Regulation

In most cases metacognition and self-regulation are defined by their component parts. Both comprise measuring the extents to which individuals are metacognitively, motivationally and behaviorally determined learners in their learning processes. Like metacognition, self-regulated learning also contains self-monitoring, self-evaluating and self-instruction. Self-regulation belongs to students’ learning opportunities to metacognitively monitor properties of information, declarative and procedural knowledge and their cognitive experiences. These concepts are inter-connected. In past studies it can be seen that academic success, self-regulated learning and the use of metacognition and metacognitive skills are positively correlated to academic achievement in different disciplines. Self-regulated learning consists of three major components: metacognition, motivation and learning strategies. More specifically, metacognition plays an important role in the execution of self-regulated learning because it involves the processes of cognition and learning behaviors in genera.


In conclusion, metacognition is the process of thinking about one’s own thinking, it’s a critical process for effective learning. It includes metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive control, which are related to the awareness and regulation of cognitive processes. Metacognitive strategies, such as planning, monitoring, and evaluating are examples of effective metacognition and they are related to successful learning outcomes. Also, metacognition can be taught and developed through metacognitive instruction.

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Thinking About Thinking: What is Metacognition. (2023, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 24, 2023, from
“Thinking About Thinking: What is Metacognition.” GradesFixer, 11 Feb. 2023,
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