Article Abstract

This is the first issue of Metacognition and Learning, a new international journal dedicated to the study of metacognition and all its aspects within a broad context of learning processes. Flavell coined the term metacognition in the seventies of the last century (Flavell, 1979) and, since then, a huge amount of research has emanated from his initial efforts. Do we need metacognition as a concept in learning theory? Already in 1978, Brown posed the question whether metacognition was an epiphenomenon. Apparently, she was convinced otherwise as she has been working fruitfully for many years in the area of metacognition. Moreover, a review study by Wang, Haertel, and Walberg (1990) revealed metacognition to be a most powerful predictor of learning. Metacognition matters, but there are many unresolved issues that need further investigation. This introduction will present ten such issues, which are by no means exhaustive. They merely indicate what themes might be relevant to the journal.

MARIO Connections

Veenman et al.’s description of the evolution of thought surrounding metacognition and its role in education broadened and deepened MARIO’s own definition of metacognition. MARIO envisions metacognition as an active process, constantly evolving, in part due to its complex nature as described in this study.

Article Abstract

Erik de Corte describes a progression in which earlier behaviorism gave way increasingly to cognitive psychology with learning understood as information processing rather than as responding to stimuli. More active concepts of learning took hold (“constructivism”), and with “social constructivism” the terrain is not restricted to what takes place within individual minds but as the interaction between learners and their contextual situation. There has been a parallel move for research to shift from artificial exercises/situations to real-life learning in classrooms and hence to become much more relevant for education. The current understanding of learning, aimed at promoting 21st century or “adaptive” competence, is characterized as “CSSC learning”: “constructive” as learners actively construct their knowledge and skills; “self-regulated” with people actively using strategies to learn; “situated” and best understood in context rather than abstracted from environment; and “collaborative” not a solo activity.

MARIO Connections

De Corte’s work defines how learning is currently understood to be an active, self-regulated, social experience rooted in authentic context. MARIO, in all aspects, espouses this view of learning. It is fundamental to how MARIO defines the learner’s role.

Article Abstract

This research analyzed the network of psycho-social influences through which efficacy beliefs affect academic achievement. Parents’ sense of academic efficacy and aspirations for their children were linked to their children’s scholastic achievement through their perceived academic capabilities and aspirations. Children’s beliefs in their efficacy to regulate their own learning and academic attainments, in turn, contributed to scholastic achievement both independently and by promoting high academic aspirations and prosocial behavior and reducing vulnerability to feelings of futility and depression. Children’s perceived social efficacy and efficacy to manage peer pressure for detrimental conduct also contributed to academic attainments but through partially different paths of affective and self-regulatory influence. The impact of perceived social efficacy was mediated through academic aspirations and a low level of depression. Perceived self-regulatory efficacy was related to academic achievement both directly and through adherence to moral self-sanctions for detrimental conduct and problem behavior that can subvert academic pursuits. Familial socioeconomic status was linked to children’s academic achievement only indirectly through its effects on parental aspirations and children’s prosocialness. The full set of self-efficacy, aspirational, and psychosocial factors accounted for a sizable share of the variance in academic achievement.

MARIO Connections

Bandura et al.’s study of the connection between external influences, self-efficacy, and academic achievement informs how MARIO prepares the educator and parent to support the learner’s development of self-efficacy. Aspects of this discussion are also incorporated into MARIO diagnostic tools because understanding the power of a student’s perception of self-efficacy is imperative to the work we do.

Article Abstract

Design thinking is generally defined as an analytic and creative process that engages a person in opportunities to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, and redesign. Several characteristics (e.g., visualization, creativity) that a good design thinker should possess have been identified from the literature. The primary purpose of this article is to summarize and synthesize the research on design thinking to (a) better understand its characteristics and processes, as well as the differences between novice and expert design thinkers, and (b) apply the findings from the literature regarding the application of design thinking to our educational system. The authors’ overarching goal is to identify the features and characteristics of design thinking and discuss its importance in promoting students’ problem-solving skills in the 21st century.

MARIO Connections

Razzouk and Shute’s study articulates how design thinking might be applied in educational settings. MARIO embraces this study’s exploration of how the incorporation of design thinking can influence student responses to challenge. 

Article Abstract

This article presents an integrative theoretical framework to explain and to predict psychological changes achieved by different modes of treatment. This theory states that psychological procedures, whatever their form, alter the level and strength of self-efficacy. It is hypothesized that expectations of personal efficacy determine whether coping behavior will be initiated, how much effort will be expended, and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and aversive experiences. Persistence in activities that are subjectively threatening but in fact relatively safe produces, through experiences of mastery, further enhancement of self-efficacy and corresponding reductions in defensive behavior. In the proposed model, expectations of personal efficacy are derived from four principal sources of information: performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological states. The more dependable the experiential sources, the greater are the changes in perceived self efficacy. A number of factors are identified as influencing the cognitive processing of efficacy information arising from enactive, vicarious, exhortative, and emotive sources. The differential power of diverse therapeutic procedures is analyzed in terms of the postulated cognitive mechanism of operation. Findings are reported from microanalyses of enactive, vicarious, and emotive modes of treatment that support the hypothesized relationship between perceived self-efficacy and behavioral changes. Possible directions for further research are discussed.

MARIO Connections

This study has informed how intrinsic motivation and the development of self-efficacy are supported in the MARIO Framework. Bandura’s framework directly relates to the intentional design of personalized goal setting, feedback cycles, self-assessment and self-reflective practices as well as the choice of high-Impact learning strategies found throughout the MARIO Framework. 

Article Abstract

This individual differences study examined the separability of three often postulated executive functions-mental set shifting (“Shifting”), information updating and monitoring (“Updating”), and inhibition of prepotent responses (“Inhibition”)-and their roles in complex “frontal lobe” or “executive” tasks. One hundred thirty-seven college students performed a set of relatively simple experimental tasks that are considered to predominantly tap each target executive function, as well as a set of frequently used executive tasks: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Tower of Hanoi (TOH), random number generation (RNG), operation span, and dual tasking. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the three target executive functions are moderately correlated with one another, but are clearly separable. Moreover, structural equation modeling suggested that the three functions contribute differentially to performance on complex executive tasks. Specifically, WCST performance was related most strongly to Shifting, TOH to Inhibition, RNG to Inhibition and Updating, and operation span to Updating. Dual task performance was not related to any of the three target functions. These results suggest that it is important to recognize both the unity and diversity of executive functions and that latent variable analysis is a useful approach to studying the organization and roles of executive functions.

MARIO Connections

This study enriched our understanding of executive functions and how they interact or operate independently depending upon the task a student engages in. This increased awareness is present in both the design of our course elementary EF skills module and throughout the MARIO Framework when self-directed learning is referenced.

Article Abstract

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesized the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of evidence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning. The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom. Hattie’s book includes the following key components:

  • links the biggest ever research project on teaching strategies to practical classroom implementation
  • champions both teacher and student perspectives and contains step by step guidance including lesson preparation, interpreting learning and feedback during the lesson and post lesson follow up
  • offers checklists, exercises, case studies and best practice scenarios to assist in raising achievement
  • includes whole school checklists and advice for school leaders on facilitating visible learning in their institution
  • now includes additional meta-analyses bringing the total cited within the research to over 900
  • comprehensively covers numerous areas of learning activity including pupil motivation, curriculum, meta-cognitive strategies, behavior, teaching strategies, and classroom management.

MARIO Connections

The design of the one-to-one sessions and conferences were informed by Hattie’s work on quality feedback and student motivation. His work can also be recognized in the high-impact learning strategies recommended throughout the MARIO Framework.

Article Abstract

This work, a second edition of which has very kindly been requested, was followed by La Construction du réel chez l’enfant and was to have been completed by a study of the genesis of imitation in the child. The latter piece of research, whose publication we have postponed because it is so closely connected with the analysis of play and representational symbolism, appeared in 1945, inserted in a third work, La formation du symbole chez l’enfant. Together these three works form one entity dedicated to the beginnings of intelligence, that is to say, to the various manifestations of sensorimotor intelligence and to the most elementary forms of expression. The theses developed in this volume, which concern in particular the formation of the sensorimotor schemata and the mechanism of mental assimilation, have given rise to much discussion which pleases us and prompts us to thank both our opponents and our sympathizers for their kind interest in our work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

MARIO Connections

Piaget’s introduction of the term “schema” and discussion of how children assimilate new information, from the earliest of stages primarily through the sensorimotor system, has influenced MARIO’s conception of the developmental continuum of learning. This continuum is embedded within the structure of both the elementary and secondary frameworks.

Article Abstract

This book provides information on what works in education, how teachers can find what works, how educational research can find its way into classrooms, and how teachers can apply it to help individual students. Data come from a meta-analysis of research studies on instructional strategies that could be used by K-12 teachers. Nine research-based teaching strategies that have a positive effect on student learning are examined: identifying similarities and differences; summarizing and note taking; reinforcing effort and providing recognition; homework and practice; nonlinguistic representations; cooperative learning; setting objectives and providing feedback; generating and testing hypotheses; and questions, cues, and advance organizers. For each strategy, the book provides statistical effect sizes and shows how they translate into percentile gains for students. Each chapter presents extended classroom examples of teachers and students in action; models of successful instruction; and a variety of frames, rubrics, organizers, and charts to help teachers plan and implement the strategies. After describing the strategies, the book examines specific applications (teaching specific types of knowledge and using the nine categories in instructional planning). An appendix presents a conversion table for effect size/percentile gain. (Contains approximately 290 references.) (SM)

MARIO Connections

Marzano et al.’s work has deeply informed the high-impact learning strategies highlighted throughout the MARIO Framework and contributed to the innovative nature of the framework itself.