Best Practice

In the classroom: Metacognition explained

The Teaching and Learning Toolkit ranks metacognition and self-regulation practices as among the most effective for students, especially those who are disadvantaged. In this two-part article, Matt Bromley asks ‘what is metacognition?’

You’re lucky. As a teacher today, you have access to a wealth of research evidence about what works in the classroom. But knowing what evidence to look at and what it means in practice remains a challenge – especially for those new to the chalkface.

The Educational Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit ranks strategies by the “extra months” of pupil progress they secure and topping their chart is feedback tied with metacognition and self-regulation.

Both these strategies have, says the EEF, “consistently high levels of impact, with pupils making an average of eight months’ additional progress”. The EEF also states that “teaching these strategies can be particularly effective for low-achieving pupils”.

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