The importance of metacognition for quality learning and problem solving is well documented. However, despite such acknowledgement metacognition remains a fuzzy concept with a range of variously agreed upon definitions. A consequence of this is that measuring and evaluating students’ metacognition has been, and remains, a problematic and challenging task. This paper reports on the conceptualisation and development of an instrument that attempted to adopt a view of metacognition that was inclusive of the dimensions proposed across various definitions and that focuses on the metacognition known to be related to the quality learning and understanding of science. Seven dimensions were identified following a review of the general metacognition literature and that metacognition literature specifically related to science education. Items were written to reflect these dimensions and a 72 item questionnaire utilizing a five-point likert scale was administered to 203 high school science students. SPSS was used to assess the internal reliability of dimensions and for conducting exploratory principal components factor analysis. WINSTEPS was used to subject the data to Rasch analysis to explore the unidimensionality of the scale as a whole and to mediate the influence of the use of the likert scale. While the Cronbach alphas for each dimension where high for five of the seven scale dimensions, the factor analysis suggested a single large factor rather than those representing each of the dimensions. Rasch analysis supported this contention. The unidimensionality of the metacognition construct suggested predominantly by this empirical data and its analysis suggests that it may be useful to reconsider conceptualising metacognition also as a more unified construct rather than the sum of its not always agreed upon constituent dimensions.
|Publication status||Published - 2005|