Metacognition confidence in their ability to achieve their

Metacognition is significant in the
world of athletics because it allows people to exert control over their
thinking and learning processes and, therefore, achieve mastery by discerning
areas for improvement and coaching themselves during performance. Patricia J.
Babbs and Alden J. Moe report in “Metacognition: A Key for Independent
Learning from Text” that students learning to read follow these steps when
practicing metacognition: “1. Think about thinking. 2. Know the crucial goal. 3. Plan
ways to accomplish that goal. 4. Check to see whether the goal is met. 5. Take
action when the goal is not met.”1 Athletes can apply the same methods when
evaluating their own performance. As they engage in self-regulatory behaviors,
they take the time to refine their thinking and can thereby increase their
confidence in their ability to achieve their goals. Metacognition thereby
empowers athletes to take control of their own performance and claim ownership
of their successes. There are however, limitations to usage of metacognition. In 2012, Kanesa D. Seraphin
identified certain trouble that students had with metacognition. “The most
difficult part of this lesson was getting students to think about their
thinking. It was difficult to explain as there is SO much to it–just like it
was for us when we learned it…so I felt their pain, but I also know that as
they get familiar with it, it will become easier.”2 This is a quote from a teacher working in a
school where Seraphin conducted her research. It indicates that not everyone is
capable of “thinking about thinking”. The reason for this, according to
Seraphin was that students relied too much on the guidance from the teacher
instead of being able to recognize and categorize their thoughts and actions.3 This backs up my point about more elite
athletes being able to develop stronger metacognitive skills. Even though
education and sport are not related, I believe the principles of metacognition
work similarly in both areas. However, there is still an argument concerning
this statement. Claus and Geedey (2010) have conducted a test, which concluded
that there is no correlation between the Bloom level (the ability of
self-assessment) and success and variation between exam scores. Students who
were taking part in the experiment did equally well in easy and difficult parts
but showed weaknesses in the mediocre part.4

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Stages of
Metacognition

Metacognition
is believed by some scientists to be divided into two separate areas (stages):
Cognitive knowledge and cognitive regulation.5 Most scientists agree that
metacognition consists of several stages of critical thinking and reflection,
which include forward planning, self-monitoring evaluation, and reflection.6 Although the degree
of the success of metacognition varies among athletes according to gender,
sport type, and individual and team endeavors, these consistent stages
establish a baseline for understanding the internal processes of metacognition.
Forward planning demands that an athlete recognize the demands of a task/skill
before the attempt. An athlete demonstrates self-monitoring through his or her
awareness of their actions and thought process while attempting the
performance. Effort measures the extent to which the athlete applies his or her
training to the event; it reflects how hard he or she is willing to work to
achieve the goal. Self-efficacy is the athlete’s judgment of his or her own
ability to attempt and complete the task. By evaluating his or her performance,
the athlete finally can reflect on the event, assess his or her process and
understand the outcomes of the event in terms of his or her effort and training

1 Patricia J. Babbs and Alden J. Moe p.
425

2 Kanesa D. Seraphin (2012)

3 Kanesa D. Seraphin (2012)

4 Claus and Geedey, p. 21

5 Emily R. Lai

6 Emily R. Lai