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This study is a continuation of the ongoing metacognition project between Trinity College’s Department of Psychology and the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA). This project investigates the metacognitive awareness and skills of middle school students with the aim of understanding better the factors that contribute to students’ metacognition and motivation to learn. The present study examines whether students use the same or different learning skills in different school subjects, and whether there exist gender and/or developmental effects in the ways students of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade use metacognition in two different subject areas, Social Studies and Mathematics. The goal of this study is to address gaps in the research related to these topics. Few studies to date have addressed developmental and gender effects of metacognition and those that have report inconsistent findings. Our results show significant effects of gender and development on metacognition: female students tend to be higher in metacognition and motivation than boys, while metacognition skills stay the same among students from sixth to eighth grade. These findings suggest the need for continuing research in this area and preliminarily support an approach to teaching that targets students who tend to show lower metacognition and motivation to ensure greater academic success and a passion for learning.


Community partner: Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy