Is ‘metacognition and self-regulation’ an actual thing?

Filling the pail

When I google the term ‘metacognition and self-regulation’ (in quotes), the top hits are from the UK’s Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Evidence for Learning, an organisation that uses and promotes EEF materials in Australia.

I’ve long argued that this term is a problem because it seems to contain a bunch of things that are largely unrelated to each other. My interest was piqued when I spoke to someone from the EEF who was quite critical of Nick Gibb, England’s school minister, and Gibb’s focus on phonics and subject knowledge. Instead, EEF evidence was apparently pointing in the direction of ‘metacognition and self-regulation’.

The EEF use ‘effect size’ as their main measure of an educational intervention; something they then translate into additional months of progress that the intervention will supposedly provide. This is flawed because it’s not appropriate to compare effect sizes for studies with different types of outcome test…

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