Developing metacognition among young learners by using stories
Being aware of our thinking as we perform learning tasks and then using this knowledge to actively self-regulate what we are doing, is commonly known as metacognition. This study investigated the influence of a story-based intervention on the development of metacognition among Intermediate Phase learners engaged in content area learning. Two intact Grade 4 class groups from two public schools in different socio-economic communities in the Western Cape participated in the study. This design-based research (DBR) study comprised of 2 iterative cycles. A pragmatic paradigm underpins the use of multiple data collection methods. This article reports on the pre- and post-intervention data from the second iteration, comparing the 2 groups. Most learners seemed to have improved in terms of metacognition and strategy knowledge on most data collection instruments. The data, however, revealed that learners in both groups struggled to verbalise their thoughts. Low literacy rates influenced both data collection and the outcome of the intervention. From the study, it appears that the story-based intervention could be a feasible and effective learning tool to develop metacognition within the contexts described in this study.
Keywords: constructivism; content area learning; design-based research; intermediate phase learners; intervention; metacognition; metacomprehension; reflection; self-regulation; storytelling