An evaluation of the effectiveness of written reflection to improve high school students' writing and metacognitive knowledge and strategies
Harten, Michael D.
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This study analyzed three analytical essays and three metacognitive reflections written by 36 high school sophomores during one school year. After they had written analytical essays, students wrote reflections in which they described their writing process, explained what they did well, and identified two areas for improvement. The study focused on what students wrote in their reflections, the relationship between writing and metacognitive knowledge and strategies, and whether writing or metacognitive knowledge and/or strategies improved over time. After trained scorers holistically scored the essays, student reflections were analyzed for evidence of the three types of metacognitive knowledge: declarative, procedural, and conditional (Jacobs & Paris, 1987), as well as the metacognitive strategies of monitoring and self-correction (Baker & Brown, 1984). The study found that all three types of knowledge and both types of strategies were present in the majority of student reflections. There was a relationship between conditional knowledge and strategies, and self-correction did not occur without monitoring. In addition, there was a significant correlation between students' final essay scores and final metacognitive reflection. Student essay scores significantly improved over time, but their level of metacognition remained the same. These findings suggest that further research on metacognition and writing can build upon the rich base of research on metacognition and reading to develop future avenues for investigation, and that written metacognitive reflection may be an effective addition to writing instruction.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University