Metacognitive Skills

Metacognition is the process of thinking about thinking and developing self-awareness. Research shows that developing strong metacognitive skills, sometimes referred to as “success skills” or 21st Century skills, is critical to success in postsecondary education programs and life in general. 

What Role Can K–12 Play?

Metacognition skills can be developed and explicitly emphasized by both K–12 schools and colleges through experiences like advisory, adult-student mentoring relationships, student success courses, after school programs, and first-year college experiences. Highly correlated metacognitive skills to develop success in postsecondary include: 

  • Efficiency and organizationcorrelated with higher college GPAs
  • Persistence, grit, and ability to surmount challenges to achieve long-term goals: associated with higher college GPAs
  • Time management: predictive of college student GPA

Regional Practices

Several districts in Pierce and King Counties are measuring metacognitive skill development and progress through student surveys specifically designed to measure metacognitive growth. This data is then used to inform school and district support programming to increase metacognitive skills amongst students and staff. For information about providing the Motivation & Engagement survey in your school or district, contact PSCCN