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Metalearning: a contribution to theory and empirical investigation of Year 4 pupils' reflections on their classroom learning

Mylona, P; (2016) Metalearning: a contribution to theory and empirical investigation of Year 4 pupils' reflections on their classroom learning. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis constitutes an original theoretical and empirical approach to metalearning (also known as learning about learning). Metalearning is defined as the learner making sense of their own experience of learning, with a view to improving their future learning. Making sense implies being aware of situational features (affordances and constraints) of one's context of learning, and accordingly regulating one's own cognitive, motivational, and affective attitudes towards learning in that context. The overarching aim of this sense-making through regulating these aspects is the construction of a metalearning strategy, understood as a set of attitudes and dispositions towards learning and the application of oneself to this learning. Strategies are open-ended, flexible personal constructions for personal improvement and effectiveness in particular contexts. Lack of any existing empirical studies on how metalearning manifests itself in Primary pupils' learning in their classroom makes this research the first systematised effort towards understanding how a classroom cultivates its particular version of metalearning. This research addresses this issue in two ways: firstly, through a re-conceptualisation of metalearning with added emphasis on situativity; and secondly, through an empirical, interpretative, qualitative case study focusing on whether and how the pupils of a Year 4 Primary classroom make sense of their experiences of learning and use them to improve future learning. In this empirical project, emphasis is fully placed on pupils' voice as expressed in their qualitative interviewing, and in priority over validating theoretical constructions. Central among the findings of this research is the evidence that pupils' metalearning strategies do indeed develop as a result of their interacting with their context; that they manifest as a range of qualitatively different perceptions and attitudes about what learning is, how it happens, and how it can be improved. These perceptions and attitudes form an intertemporal connection between who the learner is and how they apply themselves to learning in the classroom: reflecting on the past and present, and envisaging doing so in the future. Finally, issues of classroom language and learner agency emerge as seminal for pupils' construction of their learning self and their metalearning strategies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Metalearning: a contribution to theory and empirical investigation of Year 4 pupils' reflections on their classroom learning
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Learning, metalearning, learning about learning, classroom learning, empirical research, case study, metalearning strategy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502102
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