"Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's easy because sometimes I know how to read", - exploring metacognition in primary 1 using pupil views templates

  • Jennifer Zike

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores Primary 1 children's metacognition as expressed through pupil views templates (PVTs) (Wall & Higgins, 2006). PVTs are practice-based tools designed to facilitate verbal reflection on learning. The overall aim of the study was to develop a deeper understanding of how children understand learning at the beginning of primary school and what factors might impact on metacognitive development and its verbal expression in a facilitated context.- Grounded in critical realism, the mixed methods study employed visually-mediated interviews with 85 children from 6 Scottish primary schools and teacher/parent questionnaires. Drawing from previous studies using PVTs with young children, the study adopted a facilitative and semi-structured approach to discussion around the PVTs and children's responses were recorded using structured response sheets. Teacher and parent questionnaires contributed supplemental data on children's early skills (executive functioning, self-regulation and verbal skills) and early education and family circumstances (NS-SEC, parent education, age at start of nursery). In-depth qualitative analysis drew on thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) using both deductive and inductive approaches. Qualitative data on children's metacognition was then transformed to be used in quantitative analyses to explore connections between children's early skills and family circumstances and their demonstration of metacognition in the PVT interactions.This study's findings show that children demonstrated well-developed understandings of learning and still developing schemas of which they seemed only partly aware. Their knowledge and beliefs reflected how they made meaning of previous metacognitive experiences and the context the experiences took place in. Their emotions and attributions during these metacognitive experiences seemed to impact the knowledge they constructed. Regression analysis showed that early skills matter when demonstrating metacognition. In the early years, reflection on learning can be facilitated using pedagogically-appropriate tools. Facilitated reflections may help to increase/clarify children's metacognitive knowledge and encourage more positive and accurate attributions, particularly when experiencing difficulties. These findings suggest that the contexts developed by researchers and practitioners are vitally important to children's expression and development of metacognitive knowledge and skills.
Date of Award27 Apr 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorKate Wall (Supervisor) & Lorna Arnott (Supervisor)

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