Term of Art: Metacognition

“The awareness and knowledge of an individual’s own mental processes; the ability to think about thinking, Metacognition refers to one’s understanding of what strategies are available for learning and what strategies are best used in which situations, It involves the ability to select and manage cognitive strategies effectively. Ordinarily these abilities develop in childhood; children learn that mental activities go along with decision making. They know when they know something and when they do not.

Metacognition skills are directly related to reading, writing, problem solving, and any process that requires error monitoring. Students must be able to examine how they learn best and what resources they can draw upon in order to set and achieve academic goals.

One of the reasons individuals with learning disabilities tend to have academic difficulties is a lack of skills in selecting and managing task-appropriate strategies. Many theorists and educators believe these skills can be intentionally taught and developed.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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