Simply put, "metacognition" is thinking about our thinking. This ability is essential to critical thinking because of its role in evaluating the success of current approaches and the extent to which they can be improved. In research literature, this process is called "self-regulated learning."  

"Critical thinkers are willing to question the justifiability of their own ideas, brave enough to risk being wrong, and wise enough to realize that much can be learned from errors and failed solutions" (p. xiv).

Nelson (2005)

Research studies indicate a positive relationship between a student’s metacognition, grit, mindset, and academic success. These traits can all be taught, and through experience, enhanced. Further, these traits all assist students with being successful lifelong learners.

Dr. Peter Arthur, Senior Instructor from University of British Columbia - Okanagan

Metacognitive Knowledge

Describes anything one knows about thinking, especially one's own.

  • Declarative knowledge - Knowledge about one's self as a learner and what can influence one's performance.

  • Procedural knowledge - Skills, heuristics, and strategies. Knowledge about how to do things.

  • Conditional knowledge - Knowledge about when and in what conditions certain knowledge is useful.

Metacognitive Regulation

The process of managing one's own learning; includes planning, monitoring, and evaluating.