Title: Metacognition within a constructionist model of learning

Authors: Philip Bonanno

Addresses: Biology Department, GFA University College, University of Malta, Msida, MSD 10, Malta

Abstract: Education is considered here as a process of guiding learners along paths leading to self-awareness and self-actualisation. Transmissionist approaches are criticised for not being sensitive to contemporary social needs and for not equipping students with the necessary skills for lifelong learning. Metacognition is discussed as a process of becoming aware and taking control of three aspects: metacognitive knowledge, skills and beliefs. A constructionist model is proposed, based on learning by doing and designing, learning in communities, learning about systems and integrating metacognitive activities in these different dimensions. The influences of the Wholist-Analytic and Verbal-Imagery dimensions are discussed in relation to designing activities. The implications of considering visual artefacts as inscription and conscription devices and as boundary objects are elaborated. Importance is given to the forms of learning occurring within ||communities of practice||: learning from, learning with and mediating others| learning. The influence of the Wholist-Analytic dimension and Approach/Withdrawal behaviours are considered in relation to interactions during collaborative learning or work. Learning about systems implies adopting a systems approach to knowledge construction and dissemination. It also implies adopting computer-based systems as tools and media for knowledge and skill development. Stylistic tendencies such as navigational tendencies, impulsiveness and affective aspects are pointed out. Reference is also made to the use of the computer as a metaphor for reflecting on one|s identity. A concluding note points to practical implications of such a constructionist model.

Keywords: metacognition; constructionism; individual differences; domainlearning; collaborative learning; interactions; neurocognitive skills; stylistic dimensions; lifelong learning; education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2004.004570

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2004 Vol.14 No.1/2, pp.9 - 23

Published online: 13 May 2004 *

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