Daniel Muijs

Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted)


Metacognition – what works and what doesn’t?

Metacognition and self-regulated learning are concepts that have become very popular in the educational field in the past few decades, not least because of strong research indicating a relationship between metacognition and learning performance. Many schools and teachers claim to use strategies that promote the metacognition of their students, but research shows that this often has little effect, and meta-analyses by Dignath & Buttner (2008), among others, have shown that interventions work better when applied by the researchers than by the teachers themselves.

In this presentation, based on an extensive systematic literature review, we want to see why this is so, and what can be done to promote metacognition in a more effective way. For example, it appears that the term is often poorly understood, and that there are many misconceptions about metacognition. It is not the case, for example, that metacognition is best taught separately from the subject content, or that it is best to done only through investigative learning. In this presentation we look at exactly what metacognition is and how it can be promoted in the classroom.

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Daniel Muijs is incoming Head of Research at Ofsted, and Professor of Education at the University of Southampton. Previously he worked as a Professor at the Universities of Manchester, Newcastle and the Warwick Institute of Education.

He is an expert in Educational and Teacher Effectiveness and quantitative research methods. He is co-editor of the journal ‘School Effectiveness and School Improvement and has held advisory posts in a range of academic and professional organisations, including currently the executive council of EARLI and the Expert Group for the OECD TALIS survey. Daniel holds a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Leuven.


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