Metacognitive Development within the Community of Inquiry

Metacognitive Development within the Community of Inquiry

Zehra Akyol (Independent Researcher, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2110-7.ch003
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This chapter focuses on metacognition in relation to learning and cognition and discusses the potential of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework to guide metacognitive development in online and blended learning environments. The commonality between metacognition and the community of inquiry is the interplay between internal knowledge construction and collaborative learning activities. In this regard, the CoI framework provides a model of cognition that operationalizes inquiry with the potential to contextualize and understand metacognition in an online learning environment. The metacognitive construct developed using the CoI framework as a theoretical lens is introduced, and the strategies and activities to support metacognition in a community of inquiry are provided.
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Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. -Aristotle

Contemporary education aims to put the learner at the center of the learning process by recognizing and valuing the potential of the learner to construct knowledge. However, educational practices do not always reflect intended goals. As Garrison and Archer (2000) noted the incongruence between ideal educational outcomes and actual practices result in students’ uncritically assimilating teacher conveyed information rather than assuming responsibility for constructing meaningful and worthwhile knowledge. Certainly there are many contextual and systematic constraints behind this discrepancy. From the learner perspective, the transaction requires a significant role change. Being at the center of the learning process, students must accept increased responsibility for their own learning. The question is whether the students are ready for this transaction and whether the current approaches are really encouraging students to take the responsibility and control of their learning.

Taking responsibility for learning is not easy; in fact it can be an extremely challenging process. It requires a student to increase his/her awareness of self as a learner, to understand his/her mental world better. In other words, students need to improve their metacognitive knowledge and skills in order to maximize their potential to construct meaningful and worthwhile knowledge. It is believed and supported by research that the ability to monitor and control learning is crucial both for successful learning and learning how to learn (White, Frederikson & Collins, 2009). This chapter discusses the value of metacognition for learning and explores how a community of inquiry can support and sustain metacognitive development.

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