Metacognition & Learning Theory

There are many studies on the role of metacognition and critical reflection in educator as well as learner development. Perhaps the seminal work in this field is How People Learn, published by The National Research Council, with editors who are experts in the field, John D. Bransford, PhD, Ann L. Brown, PhD, and Rodney R. Cocking, PhD. The book can be accessed via the National Academies Press website.

There are additional references to scholarly works in this area below.


  • Azevedo R. Computer Environments as Metacognitive Tools for Enhancing Learning. Educational Psychologist, 40(4), 245–255; 2005.

  • Barab S. A Methodological Toolkit for the Learning Scientist. In, The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, pp. 153-169; 2007.

  • Cole, M. (1996). Cultural Psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press;

  • Hall L & Johansson P.  Neurofeedback and Metacognition. Test. Retrieved from; 2003.

  • John-Steiner V. Cognitive Pluralism: A sociocultural approach. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 2 (1), Winter 1995 (pp. 2-11); 1995.

  • Lin X & Schwartz D. Reflection at the crossroads of cultures. Mind, Culture & Activity, 10 (1), pp. 9-25; 2003.

  • National Research Council. How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Committee on developments in the science of learning. Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences, National Research Council,  Bransford J, Brown A & Cocking R. (Eds.) Wash. D.C.: National Academy Press;  1999.

  • Plack MM & Santasier A. Reflective Practice: A Model for Facilitating Critical Thinking Skills Within an Integrative Case Study Classroom Experience. Method-Model Presentation in, Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 18(1); 2004.

  • Plack MM & Greenberg L. The Refletive Practitioner: Reaching for Excellence in Practice.  PEDIATRICS 116(6), pp. 1546 -1552 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2005-0209); 2005*.

  • Thompson L & Thompson M. Neurofeedback Combined with Training in Metacognitive Strategies: Effectiveness in Students with ADD. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Vol. 23, No. 4; 1998.

  • Tomasello M, Carpenter M, Call J, Behne T & Moll H. Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral And Brain Sciences 28, 675–735; 1998.

  • Tomasello M. The cultural origins of human cognition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge:MA; 1999.

  • Turkle S. Constructions and Reconstructions of Self in Virtual Reality: Playing in the MUDs. In, Culture on the  Internet. Kiesler S (Ed.), pp. 143-156; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates:NY; 1997

  • Vygotsky LS. Mind in Society. Cole M, John-Steiner V, Souberman E, & Scribner S (Eds.) Harvard University Press, Cambridge: MA; 1978/1933 [Free access - PDF]

  • Vygotsky LS. Creativity and Imagination in childhood, Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 42(1), January–February 2004, pp. 7–97; 2004/1926.