A Pedagogy of Metacognition for Reading Classrooms

Nesrin Ozturk


Despite metacognition's profound effects in research classrooms, such research might have a very limited influence on mainstream classrooms. This may stem from a lack of comprehensive and practical pedagogy that classroom teachers can adapt for metacognition instruction as researchers do. To address this problem, this study developed a pedagogy of metacognition for reading classrooms (PMR) by the principles of grounded theory. Data were collected via document analysis and a PMR was constructed through a systematic and analytic review of its literature. A PMR consists of 7 dimensions, and these include fostering students' metacognitive knowledge, scaffolding students' strategic reading, encouraging students’ independence with strategic reading, assessing metacognition, adopting goal-directedness, integrating the language of thinking, and prolonging instruction. Regarding the nature of a PMR, this paper does not propose a new instructional method or technique; however, it describes a framework to support teachers' professionalism with metacognition instruction. Therefore, reading teachers can transfer beneficial research practices to their mainstream classrooms without making distinctive instructional alterations or expansive changes in their classrooms.


Metacognition, Reading, Instruction, Thinking, Grounded Theory

Full Text:



Afflerbach, P., & Cho, B.-Y. (2009). Identifying and describing constructively responsive comprehension strategies in new and traditional forms of reading. In S. E. Israel & G. G. Duffy (Eds.), Handbook of research on reading comprehension (pp. 69–90). Routledge.

Afflerbach, P., & Meuwissen, K. (2005). Teaching and learning self-assessment strategies in middle school. In S. E. Israel, C. Collins Block, K. L. Bauserman, & K. Kinnucan-Welsch (Eds.), Metacognition in literacy learning: Theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development (pp. 141–164). Erlbaum.

Anastasiou, D., & Griva, E. (2009). Awareness of reading strategy use and reading comprehension among poor and good readers. Elementary Education Online, 8(2), 283–297.

Anderson, V. (1992). A teacher development project in transactional strategy instruction for teachers of severely reading-disabled adolescents. Teaching and Teacher Education, 8, 391–403.

Baker, L. (2017). The development of metacognitive knowledge and control of comprehension: Contributors and consequences. In K. Mokhtari (Ed.), Improving reading comprehension through metacognitive reading strategies instruction (pp. 1–31). Rowman & Littlefield.

Baker, L., & Brown, A. L. (1984a). Cognitive monitoring in reading. In J. Flood (Ed.), Understanding reading comprehension (pp. 21–44). International Reading Association.

Baker, L., & Brown, A. L. (1984b). Metacognitive skills and reading. In P.D. Pearson, R. Barr, J. L. Kamil, & P. Rosenthal (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. 1, pp. 353–394). Longman.

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Prentice Hall.

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall.

Baumann, J. F., Seifert-Kessell, N., & Jones, L. A. (1992). Effect of think-aloud instruction on elementary students’ comprehension monitoring abilities. Journal of Literacy Research, 24(2), 143–172. https://doi.org/10.1080/10862969209547770

Bauserman, K. L. (2005). Metacognitive processes inventory: An informal instrument to assess a student’s developmental level of metacognition. In S. E. Israel, C. Collins Block, K. L. Bauserman, & K. Kinnucan-Welsch (Eds.), Metacognition in literacy learning: Theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development (pp. 165–180). Erlbaum.

Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., Sandora, C., Kucan, L., & Worthy, J. (1996). Questioning the author: A yearlong classroom implementation to engage students with text. The Elementary School Journal, 96(4), 385–414. https://doi.org/10.1086/461835

Bolhuis, S., & Voeten, M. J. . (2001). Toward self-directed learning in secondary schools: What do teachers do? Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 837–855.

Book, C., Duffy, G. G., Roehler, L. R., Meloth, M. S., & Vavrus, L. G. (1985). A study of the relationship between teacher explanation and student metacognitive awareness during reading instruction. Communication Education, 34, 29–36.

Borkowski, J. G., & Muthukrishna, N. (1992). Moving metacognition into the classroom:"Working models" and effective strategy teaching. In M Pressley, K. R. Harris, & J. T. Guthrie (Eds.), Promoting academic competence and literacy in school (pp. 477–501). Academic.

Boulware-Gooden, R., Carreker, S., Thornhill, A., & Joshi, R. M. (2007). Instruction of metacognitive strategies enhances reading comprehension and vocabulary achievement of third-grade students. The Reading Teacher, 61(1), 70–77.

Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (Expanded). National Academy.

Brown, A. L., Armbruster, B. B., & Baker, L. (1986). The role of metacognition in reading and studying. In Reading comprehension: From research to practice (pp. 45–75).

Carr, E., & Ogle, D. (1987). K-W-L Plus: A strategy for comprehension and summarization. Journal of Reading, 30(7), 626–631.

Casteel, C. P., Isom, B. A., & Jordan, K. F. (2000). Creating confident and competent readers: Transactional strategies instruction. Intervention in School and Clinic, 36, 67–74.

Çer, E., & Şahin, E. (2016). Improving Reading Comprehension Skills with Children’s Books through Metacognitive Strategy: The Turkish Context. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(9), 109–119. http://redfame.com/journal/index.php/jets/article/view/1566

Chun Tie, Y., Birks, M., & Francis, K. (2019). Grounded theory research: A design framework for novice researchers. SAGE Open Medicine, 7, 205031211882292. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050312118822927

Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive apprenticeship: Making thinking visible. American Educator, 15(3), 6–11.

Collins, C. (1991). Reading instruction that increases thinking abilities. Journal of Reading, 34(7), 510–516.

Curwen, M. S., Miller, R. G., White-Smith, K. A., & Calfee, R. C. (2010). Increasing teachers’ metacognition develops students’ higher learning during content area literacy instruction: Findings from the read-write cycle project. Issues in Teacher Education, 19(2), 127–151.

Donndelinger, S. J. (2005). Integrating comprehension and metacognitive reading strategies. In S. E. Israel, C. Collins Block, K. L. Bauserman, & K. Kinnucan-Welsch (Eds.), Metacognition in literacy learning: Theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development (pp. 241–260). Erlbaum.

Duffy, G. G. (1993). Rethinking strategy instruction: Four teachers’ development and low achievers’ understandings. Elementary School Journal, 93(3), 231.

Duffy, G. G. (2002). The case for direct explanation of strategies. In C. C. Block & M. Pressley (Eds.), Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices (pp. 28–41). Guilford.

Duffy, G. G., Roehler, L. R., & Herrmann, B. A. (1988). Modeling mental processes helps poor readers become strategic readers. The Reading Teacher, 41(8), 762–767.

Duffy, G. G., Roehler, L. R., Meloth, M. S., Vavrus, L. G., Book, C., Putnam, J., & Wesselman, R. (1986). The relationship between explicit verbal explanations during reading skill instruction and student awareness and achievement: A study of reading teacher effects. Reading Research Quarterly, 21(3), 237–252.

Duffy, G. G., Roehler, L. R., Sivan, E., Rackliffe, G., Book, C., Meloth, M. S., Vavrus, L. G., Wesselman, R., Putman, J., & Bassiri, D. (1987). Effects of explaining the reasoning associated with using reading strategies. Reading Research Quarterly, 22(3), 347–368.

Duke, N. K., & Pearson, P. D. (2008). Effective practices of developing reading comprehension. Theory, Research, Reflection on Teaching and Learning, 189(1/2), 107–122.

Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2013). Better learning through structured teaching: A framework for the gradual release of responsibility (2nd ed.). ASCD.

Fisher, Robert. (1998). Thinking about thinking: Developing metacognition in children. Early Child Development and Care, 141(1), 1–15.

Fisher, Robert. (2007). Dialogic teaching: Developing thinking and metacognition through philosophical discussion. Early Child Development and Care, 177(6–7), 615–631.

Fisher, Ros. (2002). Shared thinking: Metacognitive modelling in the literacy hour. Reading, 36(2), 63–67.

Flavell, J. H. (1977). Cognitive development. Prentice-Hall.

Flavell, John H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 34(10), 906–911.

Flavell, John H. (1987). Speculations about the nature and development of metacognition. In F. Weinert & R. Kluwe (Eds.), Metacognition,motivation,and understanding (pp. 21–29). Erlbaum.

Fox, E., & Riconscente, M. (2008). Metacognition and self-regulation in James, Piaget, and Vygotsky. Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), 373–389. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-008-9079-2

Garner, R. (1987). Metacognition and reading comprehension. Ablex.

Garner, R., & Kraus, C. (1981). Good and poor comprehender differences in knowing and regulating reading behaviors. Educational Research Quarterly, 6(4), 5–12.

Gourgey, A. F. (1998). Metacognition in basic skills instruction. Instructional Science, 26, 81–96.

Hartman, H. J. (2001). Developing students’ meatcognitive knowledge and skills. In H. J. Hartman (Ed.), Metacognition in learning and instruction: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 33–68). Kluwer.

Israel, S. E. (2007). Using metacognitive assessments to create individualized reading instruction. International Reading Association.

Jacobs, J. E., & Paris, S. G. (1987). Children’s metacognition about reading: Issues in definition, measurement, and instruction. Educational Psychologist, 22(3), 255–278.

Jones, D. (2007). Speaking, listening, planning and assessing: The teacher’s role in developing metacognitive awareness. Early Child Development and Care, 177(6–7), 569–579.

Joseph, L. M., Alber-Morgan, S., Cullen, J., & Rouse, C. (2015). The effects of self-questioning on reading comprehension: A Literature Review. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 3569(October), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/10573569.2014.891449

Kerndl & Aberšek, M. K. (2012). Teachers’ competence for developing reader’s reception metacognition. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 46(1979), 52–61.

Klingner, Janette K, Vaughn, S., Arguelles, M. E., Hughes, M. T., & Leftwich, S. A. (2004). Collaborative strategic reading: “Real-World” lessons from classroom teachers. Remedial and Special Education, 25(5), 291–302.

Klingner, Janette Kettmann, & Vaughn, S. (1998). Using collaborative strategic reading. Teaching Exceptional Children, 30(6), 32–37. https://doi.org/10.1177/074193250102200201

Klingner, Janette Kettmann, Vaughn, S., & Schumm, J. S. (1998). Collaborative strategic reading during social studies in heterogeneous fourth-grade classrooms. The Elementary School Journal, 99(1), 3–22. https://doi.org/10.1086/461914

Kurtz, B. E., Schneider, W., Carr, M., Borkowski, J. G., & Rellinger, E. (1990). Strategy instruction and attributional beliefs in West Germany and the United States: Do teachers foster metacognitive development? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 15(3), 268–283. https://doi.org/10.1016/0361-476X(90)90024-U

Lai, E. R. (2011). Metacognition: A Literature review (Research report) (Issue April). http://www.datec.org.uk/CHAT/chatmeta1.htm

Lee, P. A., & Schmitt, M. C. (2014). Teacher language scaffolds the development of independent strategic reading activities and metacognitive awareness in emergent readers. Reading Psychology, 35(1), 32–57.

McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E. (2016). Child development and education (6th ed.). Pearson.

McKeown, R. G., & Gentilucci, J. L. (2007). Think-Aloud Strategy : Metacognitive development and monitoring comprehension in the middle school second-language classroom. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(2), 136–147.

Michalsky, T., Mevarech, Z. R., & Haibi, L. (2009). Elementary school children reading scientific texts: Effects of metacognitive instruction. The Journal of Educational Research, 102(5), 363–376. https://doi.org/10.3200/JOER.102.5.363-376

Miholic, V. (1994). An inventory to pique students’ metacognitive awareness of reading strategies. Journal of Reading, 38(2), 84–86.

Mokhtari, K., & Reichard, C. A. (2002). Assessing students’ metacognitive awareness of reading strategies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(2), 249–259.

Moore, D., Zabrucky, K., & Commander, N. E. (1997). Validation of the metacomprehension scale. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22(4), 457-471.

Nelson, T. O. (1996). Consciousness and metacognition. American Psychologist, 51(2), 102–116. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.51.2.102

O’Donnell, A. M., Reeve, J., & Smith, J. K. (2007). Educational psychology: Reflection for action. (1st ed.). Wiley.

Ogle, D. M. (1986). K-W-L: A teaching model that develops active reading of expository text. The Reading Teacher, 39(6), 564–570.

Ozturk, N. (2017a). An analysis of teachers’ self-reported competencies for teaching metacognition. Educational Studies, 43(3), 247–264.

Ozturk, N. (2017b). Identifying the nature of metacognition instruction in reading classrooms (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

Ozturk, N. (2020). The instrument of teaching metacognition in reading classrooms: The ITMR. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 7(3), 305–322. https://doi.org/10.21449/ijate.706558

Palinscar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1984). Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction, 1(2), 117–175.

Papleontiou-louca, E. (2003). The concept and instruction of metacognition. Teacher Development, 7(1), 9–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530300200184

Paris, S. G., Cross, D. R., & Lipson, M. Y. (1984). Informed strategies for learning: A program to improve children’s reading awareness and comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(6), 1239–1252.

Paris, Scott G., Wixson, K. K., & Palincsar, A. S. (1986). Instructional approaches to reading comprehension. In E. Rothkopf (Ed.), Review of research in education (Vol. 14, pp. 91–128). American Educational Research Association.

Paris, Scott G, & Jacobs, J. E. (1984). The benefits of informed instruction for children’s reading awareness and comprehension skills. Child Development, 55(6), 2083–2093.

Paris, Scott G, & Winograd, P. (1990). How metacognition can promote academic learning and instruction. In B. F. Jones & L. Idol (Eds.), Dimensions of thinking and cognitive instruction (pp. 15–51). Erlbaum.

Pearson, P.D., & Gallagher, G. (1983). The gradual release of responsibility model of instruction. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8, 112–123.

Pearson, P David, & Gallagher, M. C. (1983). The instruction of reading comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 8, 317–344.

Perry, N. E., Hutchinson, L., & Thauberger, C. (2008). Talking about teaching self-regulated learning: Scaffolding student teachers’ development and use of practices that promote self-regulated learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 47, 97–108.

Pintrich, P. R. (2002). The role of metacognitive knowledge in learning, teaching, and assessing. Theory Into Practice, 41(4), 219–225.

Plato. (1961). The collected dialogues of Plato, including the letters (E. Hamilton & H. Cairns (eds.)). Pantheon Books.

Pressley, M. (2002). Metacognition and self-regulated comprehension. In A. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (3rd ed., pp. 291–309). International Reading Association.

Pressley, M., & Afflerbach, P. (1995). Verbal protocols of reading: The nature of constructively responsive reading. Routledge.

Pressley, Michael, Beard El-Dinary, P., Gaskins, I., Schuder, T., Bergman, J. L., Almasi, J., & Brown, R. (1992). Beyond direct explanation: Transactional instruction of reading comprehension strategies. The Elementary School Journal, 92(5), 513–555.

Pressley, Michael, & Gaskins, I. W. (2006). Metacognitively competent reading comprehension is constructively responsive reading: How can such reading be developed in students? Metacognition Learning, 1, 99–113.

Pressley, Michael, Harris, K. R., & Marks, M. B. (1992). But good strategy instructors are constructivists! Educational Psychology Review, 4(1), 3–31.

Rieser, S., Naumann, A., Decristan, J., Fauth, B., Klieme, E., & Büttner, G. (2016). The connection between teaching and learning: Linking teaching quality and metacognitive strategy use in primary school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 1–20.

Rogoff, B. (1998). Cognition as a collaborative process. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Cognition, perception, and language (Volume 2, pp. 679–744). Wiley.

Rosenshine, B., & Meister, C. (1994). Reciprocal teaching: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 64(4), 479–530.

Samuels, S. J., Ediger, K. M., Willcutt, J. R., & Palumbo, T. J. (2005). Role of automaticity in metacognition and literacy instruction. In S. E. Israel, A. Collins Block, K. L. Bauserman, & K. Kinnucan-Welsch (Eds.), Metacognition in literacy learning: Theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development (pp. 41–60). Erlbaum.

Schmitt, M. C. (2001). The development of children’s strategic processing in reading recovery. Reading Psychology, 22(2), 129–151.

Schmitt, M. C. (2005). Measuring students’ awareness and control of strategic processes. In S. E. Israel, C. Collins Block, K. L. Bauserman, & K. Kinnucan-Welsch (Eds.), Metacognition in literacy learning: Theory, assessment, instruction, and professional development (pp. 101–119). Erlbaum.

Schraw, G. (1998). Promoting general metacognitive awareness. Instructional Science, 26(1), 113–125.

Schraw, G. (2001). Promoting general metacognitive awareness. In H. J. Hartman (Ed.), Metacognition in learning and instruction: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 3–16). Kluwer.

Tanner, K. D. (2012). Promoting student metacognition. Cell Biology Education, 11(2), 113–120.

Thomas, K. F., & Barksdale-ladd, M. A. (2000). Metacognitive processes: Teaching strategies in literacy education courses. Reading Psychology, 21, 67–84.

Tishman, S., & Perkins, D. (1997). The language of thinking. The Phi Delta Kappan, 78(5), 368–374.

Van Keer, H., & Vanderlinde, R. (2010). The impact of cross-age peer tutoring on third and sixth graders’ reading strategy awareness, reading strategy use, and reading comprehension. Middle Grades Research Journal, 5(1), 33–45.

Varga, A. (2016). Metacognitive perspectives on the development of reading comprehension: A classroom study of literary text-talks. Literacy, 00(00), 1–7.

Vaughn, S., & Klingner, J. K. (1999). Teaching reading comprehension through collaborative strategic reading. Intervention in School and Clinic, 34(5), 284–292.

Vaughn, S., Klingner, J. K., & Bryant, D. P. (2001). Collaborative strategic reading as a means to enhance peer-mediated instruction for reading comprehension and content-area learning. Remedial and Special Education, 22(2), 66–74.

Veenman, M. V. J. (2016). Metacognition. In P. Afflerbach (Ed.), Handbook of individual differences in reading (pp. 26–40). Routledge.

Veenman, M. V. J., Van Hout-Wolters, B. H. A. M., & Afflerbach, P. (2006). Metacognition and learning: Conceptual and methodological considerations. Metacognition and Learning, 1(1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-006-6893-0

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman (eds.)). Harvard University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (2012). Thought and language (E. Hanfmann, G. Vakar, & A. Kozulin (eds.)). MIT press.

Williamson, R. A. (1996). Self-questioning-An aid to Metacognition. Reading Horizons, 37(1), 30–47.

Wilson, N. S., & Bai, H. (2010). The relationships and impact of teachers’ metacognitive knowledge and pedagogical understandings of metacognition. Metacognition and Learning, 5(3), 269–288. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9062-4

Wong, B. Y. L. (1985). Self-questioning instructional research: A review. Review of Educational Research, 55(2), 227–268. https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543055002227

Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 13–39). Academic.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An Overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(2), 64–70. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4102

Zohar, A. (1999). Teachers’ metacognitive knowledge and the instruction of higher order thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(4), 413–429.

Zohar, A., & Ben David, A. (2009). Paving a clear path in a thick forest: A conceptual analysis of a metacognitive component. Metacognition and Learning, 4(3), 177–195.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.10n.1p.162


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.