Author Archives: Chris Was

Some Developmental Trends in Metacognition

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In this post, Chris Was shares some of his research exploring the development of metacognition in young children. He finds that the difference between predicted recall performance and actual performance supports the hypothesis that metacognition is not a single skill that children have or not, but rather it is a complex of many skills and processes the children acquire through experiences and maturation.

Evidence for metacognition as executive functioning

Kristen Chorba and Chistopher Was explore the connections between work in neuroscience on executive function and pedagogical work on metacognition. Both processes serve similar functions (evaluation and problem-solving) and lead to activity in similar portions of the brain. Chorba and Was invite us to bring these two areas of research together and suggest that “executive functions and metacognition may be largely the same process.” What do you think?

A Mindfulness Perspective on Metacognition

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Chris Was considers the connection between mindfulness (e.g., “bringing attention to moment-to-moment experience”) and metacognitive practices (e.g., feelings of knowing, judgments about learning, judgments about knowledge). Contrary to the view that dissociates these two practices, Was argues that mindfulness is similar to a form intentional awareness involved in metacognition. While not interchangeable, metacognition and mindfulness have the potential to be mutually reinforcing.

Testing Improves Knowledge Monitoring

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Chris Was shares a unique testing approach he and Randy Isaacson developed to help students improve their knowledge monitoring accuracy: the variable weight – variable difficulty test that uses a left-right column format. This approach is one we could easily adapt to many types of testing formats and disciplines.

Predictors of college retention/success.

In a recent investigation completed with Randy Isaacson and Tara Beziat, it was found that high school GPA and SAT scores did not predict retention as well as GPA in the first semester. It was also found that first semester GPA was a good predictor of retention and student progression. Now, this is not surprising. What is important, is that… Read more »

Are Current Metacognition Measures Missing the Target?

Chris Was shares a thought-provoking post, Are Current MetacognitionMeasures Missing the Target? in which he shares some of his research efforts to measure metacognition.  Importantly, his research indicates that “without attempting to understand the other factors (e.g., motivation) that impact students’ perceptions of their knowledge and future performance, we are not likely to be successful in our attempts… to examine or improve metacognition in our students.”