Culver City Unified School District

Skip to main content
Main Menu Toggle
Assessments » Metacognition


What is Metacognition?
Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one's thinking.  It is the process used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance. By using metacognitive practices it helps to increase students' abilities to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, p.12; Palinsar & Brown, 1984; Scardamali et al., 1984; Schoenfeld, 1983, 1985, 1991).  
What are some Metacognitive Strategies I can use in my class?
Encourage students to examine their current thinking: 
  • Example: "What do I already know about this topic that could guide my learning?"
  • Example: KWL
  • Example: Misconception Probe
The Muddiest Point/Questions
Give students practice in identifying confusions
  • Muddiest Point Example: "What was most confusing to me about the material explored in class today?" (exit ticket/index cards)
  • Questions Example:  What questions arose during an assignment/exam/project
  • Example of a Lesson Reflection:
learning reflection
Retrospective Post Assessment
Pushing students to Recognize Conceptual Change:
  • Example:  "I use to think . .  . , Now I think . . . because. . .   (exit ticket)
  • Example:  How has your thinking changed about _____?
Reflective Journals
Providing a Forum in which Students Monitor Their Own Thinking: 
  • After an exam a student reflects:  What about my exam preparation worked well that I should remember next time? What did not work so well that I should not do next time, or that I should change?
  • What was easiest for me to learn this week? why?
  • What was most challenging for me to learn? Why?
  • What was the most and least effective parts on completing assignment, project, task? How could it be improved next time?