Metacognition and Student Achievement in Mathematical Problem Solving

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education, major in Educational Administration



First Advisor

Cornelia C. Soto, PhD


Metacognition plays a crucial role in Mathematical problem solving as solvers must regulate and monitor their thinking to be successful. The study sought to measure the effects of teaching students to use their metacognition in problem solving through incorporating the guide questions from Schraw’s Regulatory Checklist in Pólya’s Four- Step Approach. The study compared the results of the pre-test and post-test performance of the non-metacognitive and metacognitive group in metacognition and Mathematical problem solving. There was no significant difference between the two groups before the treatment in both variables. After five weeks of the treatment, there was no significant difference in the performance in metacognition between the two groups. The difference in Mathematical problem solving performance was approaching statistical significance. The interviews revealed that good problem solvers knew more problem solving strategies compared to the poor problem solvers and spent more time in understanding the problem first. Based on the results, it is recommended that metacognitive instruction be included in teaching Mathematics and problem solving. Teachers should also discuss strategies for understanding the problem first before answering. Future research is needed to identify other factors affecting metacognition and problem solving as well as their relationship.

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