Metacognitions form the basis of students' learning activities. On the one hand, metacognitions concern a student's beliefs about their own thinking. On the other hand, it concerns special learning activities that students use to direct their own learning process. In the first case it concerns opinions, for example “Mathematics is not for me at all” or “I am very bad at multiple choice” or “I I really can't concentrate for history. What do I care about that old stuff!” In the second case, it concerns things such as: learning by heart, being quizzed, making a schedule, etc. How students think about their own learning process and how they use certain learning activities is very important for the quality of the learning process. Metacognitive activities are in into three categories:

1. Activities related to planning the learning process. Students collect information about:

  • The purpose of the activity
  • The value or impact of the activity (grade or not, the weighting, the importance for other activities, but also the degree of pressure from the teacher or parents)
  • The available resources (from textbook to internet and from teacher to older brother)
  • Content aspects of the activity (interest and importance, difficulty)
  • The assessment of one's own prior knowledge (very difficult for adolescents)
  • f. The available time

2. Activities related to monitoring the learning process.

  • a. Monitoring one's own actions by observing oneself, testing oneself or having someone else test it
  • b. Mentally register whether the activities involve progress by:
    • i. Asking themselves whether they still understand the text they read
    • ii. Determining whether the assignments have been completed accurately
    • iii. Remain aware of whether concentration is still presentiv. Determine whether too much time is spent on unimportant matters. To be questioned

3. Activities that allow students to look back on their learning process

  • Students examine which learning activities, resources and time spent have contributed (or not contributed) to the learning outcome.
  • The vast majority of students in secondary education are unable to direct their own learning process.
  • They also do not have well-thought-out views about their own cognitive functioning.
  • They are therefore unable to process learning material independently or familiarize themselves with new learning material.
  • They need guidance from teachers (and parents) to plan how they will process the learning material and which strategies they can best use.
  • They also need the guidance and control of teachers (and parents) to monitor the process.