Changes in Students' Cognitive and Metacognitive Strategy Use over Five Years of Secondary Schooling
Lawson, Mike Joseph
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As students progress through school, we expect that their knowledge about the various subject matters, such as biology or maths, becomes more extensive, well structured, and readily available for application in diverse contexts. This chapter reports the authors’ enquiry about whether students’ cognitive and metacognitive knowledge and strategies do grow during secondary school. Questionnaires were administered to students in three South Australian secondary schools in each of five consecutive years. Hierarchical linear modelling was used to investigate changes in students’ responses over time. Results showed little change in students’ reports of their cognitive and metacognitive strategy use. The disappointing growth trajectories suggest that cognitive and metacognitive strategies for learning are not subject to the explicit teaching and evaluation processes applied to other school subjects. Questions are raised about whether schools and teachers value and recognise the importance of cognitive and metacognitive strategies for good quality learning across subject domains.