Metacognition: Thinking about Thinking

  • SumoMe

When I first saw the word metacognition on one of my colleagues’ screen, I had no idea what it meant. Even my computer’s word dictionary had no idea of the word’s presence in English language. Hence I immediately turned to the only savior, the true god – Google. After going through a number of websites and results provided by Google, I came to know that the word has a very profound meaning. It means “cognition about cognition”. In simple words – “thinking about thinking”. I even had a hard time understanding the meaning of the meaning which the word possessed, and I am sure lot of people will go through the same; many may even leave the page due to their dilemma in understanding the word.

metacognition-mainWords having intense links with number of meanings confusing meanings has attracted me more towards it. It landed me in a limbo of the word’s meanings. I kept my search on, crawling over numerous links and websites, subliminally trying to reach to the core expanse of meanings of the word. Suddenly like Eureka of Archimedes, I landed on a meaning which gave me a respite of satisfaction, as I could finally understand the meaning of Metacognition, defining it as “awareness or analysis of one’s own learning”. Although the meaning again itself was confusing for the normal people, yet I understood it as I am standing on the line of the threshold which could turn you into a normal person any time.

Four years of engineering, college bunking, and self learning have finally paid up to understand Metacognition – thinking about thinking. I was completely aware of my own learning and had it perfectly analyzed as no lecturer ever dared to make me sit in the classroom to learn what we call education and at every semester’s end I was on my own to adapt to the education system and learn hopeless academic subjects which never helped me get a job. I was completely Metacognitive like thousands of others making their way in the market, having full-fledged knowledge about how and when to use meticulous strategies as advantage for learning and problem solving purposes.


The term ‘Metacognition’ is up and running in the world of English since 1977, same time when the first all-in-one personal computer “Commodore PET” was publicly demonstrated. Albeit the word is widely ignored, but has great eminence in education circles, using metacognition enables people to realize the process of learning, the way they learn. Memory techniques like rhyming, use of acronyms or the loci methods are some of the metacognition strategies which may help students to learn how to learn.

The end point of all this is that I learned a new word today, which has no significance in the everyday English, Hindi, or any other language and it’s no mystery that it would never ever be touched to help education system or learning process for students in India. But it does possess a never ending stream of meanings; confusing, deep and profound meanings while I move on to find other words …

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