HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 16 no. 2 (2007)

Learning Chemistry in a Metacognitive Environment

Richard Pulmones

Discipline: Psychology, Chemistry



Thinking about one’s own thinking and of how one learns and solves problems is described as metacognition.  The important dimensions of metacognition are knowledge of one’s own thinking as one  plans, monitors, and evaluates academic tasks.  This paper presents a qualitative study on metacognition, on how academic tasks in Chemistry are designed and structured in a constructivist environment that promotes students’ metacognitive behaviors and meaningful learning of Chemistry.   Sample metacognitive profiles of two cases (low and high metacognitive index), generated from analyses of various qualitative data are also presented.  As a conclusion, the paper reiterates a research finding which indicates that prolonged engagement of students in classroom activities designed in a constructivist environment gives  ample opportunities for students to demonstrate their overt planning, monitoring and evaluation behaviors.  Purposely asking students to answer metacognitive questions afforded them the opportunity to reflect on their thinking, thus fostering their metacognition.