Meaning of Metacognition

What is Metacognition:

Metacognition is the ability to self-regulate learning processes. As such, it involves a set of intellectual operations associated with the knowledge, control and regulation of the cognitive mechanisms that intervene in a person collecting, evaluating and producing information, in short: that he learns.

The word metacognition is a neologism composed of the words "cognition", from the Latin cognition, cognitiōnis, which translates ‘knowledge’, and the compositional element “meta-”, which comes from the Greek μετα- (meta-), which means ‘about’.

In this sense, metacognition, according to the most knowledgeable authors, refers to the action and effect of reasoning on one's own reasoning or, in other words, of developing awareness and control over thinking and learning processes.

All this implies that the person is able to understand the way he thinks and learns and, in this way, apply that knowledge about these processes to obtain better results.

In this way, metacognition is a very useful tool to improve intellectual skills, optimize learning processes, and even facilitate the execution of everyday tasks, as simple as, for example, making a decision.

Metacognition according to John Flavell

Within Psychology, studies on metacognition date back to the 1970s, when John Flavell coined the term from his research on the cognitive processes of people.

In his observations, Flavell determined that people needed to employ a higher level of thinking that paid attention to the other intellectual processes to correct errors, optimize cognitive mechanisms and improve the implementation of strategies for the execution of tasks.

The importance of metacognition, in this sense, would be that its domain would allow us to self-manage and control our learning processes, improve their efficiency, optimize them.

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