Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dina Anselmi

Second Advisor

David Reuman


Metacognition is the awareness and comprehension of one’s own way of thinking. It is one of three components of self-regulated learning, the other two being cognition and motivation. Self-regulated learning and metacognitive skill have been found to enhance student learning and achievement (Joseph, 2009). This research study examined the effect of metacognitive training on the self-regulation and academic performance of middle-school students in a social studies classroom. Experimental intervention sessions for sixth and eighth grade children were designed and executed to enrich metacognitive skills and were modeled after Ambrose et al.’s (2010) five-step model of metacognition. Two randomly assigned classes from both the sixth and eighth grades functioned as the experimental group, receiving metacognitive interventions called Learn 2 Learn, while another two randomly assigned classes in both grade levels acted as the control groups (Know How 2-HI School or College Knowledge), receiving information on educational transitions and/or career pathways. Students’ levels of metacognition and motivation were measured with pre- and post- quantitative and qualitative assessments. Additionally, student performance was assessed based on student grades from the first, second, and third marking periods. Contrary to predictions, there was no intervention effect on students’ metacognition found from the quantitative measure of metacognition or student grades, although there was a significant intervention effect and a significant intervention by time by grade level interaction for the qualitative measure of metacognition. All measures of metacognition were positively correlated with grades. In addition, it was found that sixth grade students consistently had higher levels of metacognition, motivation, and academic performance than did the eighth grade students. This study hoped to chart any developmental changes in metacognition between lower- and upper-middle school students.


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