Thinking Beyond Thinking: Junior High School Students’ Metacognitive Awareness and Conceptual Understanding of Integers

Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal 15 (1):4-24 (2023)
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The potential benefits of cognitive skills in enhancing mathematics ability have been claimed by numerous researchers. Since mathematics requires a complete understanding and grasp of abstract concepts, it is essential to explore how learning with metacognitive skills affects mathematics learning. Thus, the study investigates the students' metacognitive awareness and conceptual understanding of integers. A descriptive-correlational method approach was utilized, and it was carried out on 303 seventh-grade students. The data were obtained using a metacognitive awareness inventory and achievement test on integers. It was further revealed that the students have average metacognitive awareness and performed well in the fundamental operation of integers. Follow-up qualitative analysis revealed that students who were high achievers had the best understanding, average achievers had corrected or incomplete understanding, and low achievers had a functional misconception of integers. Moreover, the student's metacognitive awareness was significantly related to their conceptual understanding of integers. This indicates that student's higher-order thinking skills, such as metacognition, are essential since they are associated with building conceptual skills. Thus, teachers should encourage students' metacognitive awareness to improve students' conceptual understanding of integers. The study provides relevant information for educational managers on the potential factors to be considered in improving mathematics education practices, particularly in promoting metacognition among high school students.

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