Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dina Anselmi

Second Advisor

David Reuman


Self-regulated learning is comprised of motivation, cognition, and metacognition. This study aimed to improve eighth grade social studies students’ self-regulated learning and academic performance through the implementation of an intervention into their social studies curriculum. The intervention centered on exposing students to the different dimensions of metacognition (i.e., comprehending and being able to control one’s own cognitive processes) based on research findings that showed a link between metacognition and academic performance (Dignath & Büttner, 2008; Kistner, Rakoczy, Otto, Dignath-van Ewijk, Büttner, & Klieme, 2010). The intervention was designed to foster the students’ knowledge and use of metacognitive strategies through group work and cognitive discussions based on the research by Paris and Paris (2001). Four eighth-grade history sections taught by one teacher and two sections taught by a second teacher participated in the study. Three sections were randomly assigned to the intervention group and the other three to the control group. All students completed pre- and post-testing quantitative measures of metacognition and motivation. Teachers rated students’ ability beliefs and their levels of metacognition at post-testing. In addition, student performance was evaluated in terms of overall changes in grades from the first to third marking period. As predicted, the experimental group showed more improvement than the control group at post-testing in terms of their levels of metacognition. There was no effect of the intervention on the students’ academic performance or motivation; however, all the quantitative measures of metacognition and motivation were positively correlated with quarterly grades. Furthermore, the quantitative measure of metacognition developed for the present program of research was found to be a better predictor of grades than a widely used measure of metacognition (Sperling, Howard, Miller, & Murphy, 2002).


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.