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Metacognition, knowing how to use certain strategies for learning, has been the focus of numerous research studies in an attempt to discover methods for improving student performance. While metacognitive strategy use has been shown to lead to academic success, there is little consensus regarding the best way to measure metacognition. This study aimed to find a solution to the problems of low school performance and inaccurate metacognition measures by leading an intervention at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy and develop a new, valid measure of metacognition for adolescents. We are working with four sections of Ms. Avery’s social studies students; two are assigned to the treatment group and two are assigned to the control. The study will evaluate the effects of a ten session metacognitive and cognitive strategy intervention on the academic performance of eighth grade social studies students. The intervention will include direct instruction of cognitive and metacognitive strategies and opportunities to practice these strategies within the context of the students’ social studies curriculum. The control will include lessons on influential American presidents. Before and after the intervention, measures are given to the students, consisting of metacognitive, motivational, and performance measures. These measures include our newly developed measure, the MC5, which is based on the self-regulated cycle of learning. The measure has five to seven questions for each step of the cycle, and is informed by the activities and curriculum of Ms. Avery’s class. This measure is an improvement over current measures because it is specific for adolescents. That data combined with the students’ change in grades is our ultimate measurement of success. Specifically, the goal of the study is to determine if a metacognitive intervention will lead to more metacognitive strategy use, higher academic performance, and higher academic performance for particular tasks. Another important goal is to develop a valid measure of metacognition that captures adolescents’ use of metacognition.


Community partner: Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy