Developing Metacognitive Skills in Secondary School Students

Panganayi, Mupenyu Felix (2018). Developing Metacognitive Skills in Secondary School Students. EdD thesis The Open University.


The research in this thesis focussed on whether metacognitive instructional methods can support the development of metacognitive skills (MS) awareness, and student achievement in secondary school students during problem solving in stoichiometry. The research involved four studies. The first was a quasi-experiment using the metacognitive skills framework (MSF) to support students. The intervention was conducted by a chemistry teacher, for one hour/week over three weeks, with pre- and post-test assessments. There was a control group (N=19) and an experimental group (N=22). There was no significant improvement in MS awareness, however, there was a significant improvement in stoichiometric achievement for the experimental, but not the control group.
Study 2 involved a comparison of MSF (N=21); metacognitive skills modelling (MSM; N=17), another less explicit instructional method; and a control group (N=23). Similar measures to those in Study 1 were used. The three groups failed to show significant improvement over time in MS awareness. However, the MSF and Control groups showed significant improvement in stoichiometric achievement. Study 3 concerned the students’ MS awareness and use. An interview group was drawn from each of the three conditions and was asked a series of semi-structured questions. The MSF and control groups gave answers which suggested higher MS awareness and use compared to MSM group. This was not expected and consequently Study 4 was conducted.
Study 4 involved interviews with the teachers of the students in the three conditions. Some of the findings in Study 2 could be explained by the control group teacher supporting MS awareness and use, and that this group had a public examination in chemistry shortly after the study.
Thus, the findings from this research suggest that use of the MSF is associated with increased scores in stoichiometry. However, further research is needed to better understand the effects of interventions on the enhancement of metacognitive skills awareness and use.

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