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Learning Environments: Mectacognitive Strategies That Facilitate the Learning Process

Progress Report

April 25, 2004
  • Robert Surles
  • Jennifer Tamez

Research Question:

In What Ways Does Metacognitation Facilitate Learning?


Our research has shown, up to this point in time, that metacognitive processes or strategies does in fact help the learning process. Metacognition is defined, in a rather simple way as thinking about thinking. However, we have found that it is critical to have a complete understanding of the process involved in the application of any metacognitive strategy and the ultimate goal the learner has established. We have also found that metacognitive strategies in many cases occur out of habit or without consciously knowing it is being applied. When it is consciously applied in any design or collaborative effort of the learning process each of us experience greater success in the effort.

Status of On-going Study

The team members, Jennifer Tamez and Robert Surles, have completed the research paper, with the exception of the final flight trials. There have been three scheduled flights, but weather and a malfunctioning camera has delayed the event. We are currently scheduled to fly on Tuesday, the 27th of April and Thursday, the 29th of April. Jennifer has completed the CD Video portion of the pre-flight analysis and is now prepared to transition to the flight portion of the project.

We have met to discuss and edit the research draft nine times via email and personal meetings. The collaborative effort has been very enlightening in formulating different approaches to assimilating empirical information, and Jennifer has developed different rubrics for applying the information to an actual situation. We have developed four basic cognate principles applicable in every learning environment that also applies to every learning situation:
  • 1. Learning is a natural innate process that is active. It is willful and it is mediated internally. The learning process is goal directed and incorporates a process of constructing meaning from information. It is experience based which is filtered through one’s unique perceptions.
  • 2. This first principle causes one to formulate a process that is internally consistent in creating mental representations of apprehension which convey meaning. This occurs regardless of the amount of information or the quality of information given. One goes beyond what is given to form meaning.
  • 3. The learner organizes the new information in ways that internally associates it with previous or existing knowledge in the memory in meaningful links.
  • 4. This leads the learner to a higher order of thinking about thinking or metacognition for adaptive and creative learning.


We expect to have the flight portion and data collection completed by Friday the 30th of April. All film editing and splicing will be completed by that time also.

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