Metacognition and Performance in the Accounting Classroom

Metacognition and Performance in the Accounting Classroom -...

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339 ISSUES IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION Vol. 24, No. 3 August 2009 pp. 339–367 Metacognition and Performance in the Accounting Classroom Lydia L. F. Schleifer and Richard B. Dull ABSTRACT: Flavell (1976, 232) describes metacognition as: ‘‘one’s knowledge con- cerning one’s own cognitive processes or anything related to them.’’ Metacognition has been characterized as ‘‘thinking about thinking’’ (Georghiades 2004), ‘‘thinking about learning’’ (Jackson 2004), ‘‘learning about learning’’ (Case et al. 2001), ‘‘know- ing about learning’’ (Meyer 2004), ‘‘knowledge about knowledge’’ (Yore and Treagust 2006), and ‘‘what we know about what we know’’ (Halpern 1998). Essentially, meta- cognition involves a self-awareness of how one learns and thinks. Because metacognition is an important aspect of self-regulated learning, it has potential as a learning skill or attribute that can serve to improve accounting education. The purpose of this paper is to explore the association between metacognition and student performance and success in accounting classes. The researchers use data collected over the course of a decade (1995–2004) to examine this association. Stu- dents in a variety of accounting courses completed a questionnaire to assess their metacognitive knowledge and self-regulation. The survey results support the conclu- sion that metacognitive attributes are associated with accounting course achievement. Keywords: metacognition; learning; education; performance; accounting. Data Availability: The data used in this study may be obtained by contacting the ±rst author. ‘‘[U]nless you know everything, what you need is thinking.’’ —Edward de Bono (Maclure and Davies 1991, xii). INTRODUCTION A ccounting professionals must be lifelong learners and critical thinkers. This state- ment is true for any professional, but it has been asserted many times over the years in academic research publications (Smith 2001) and professional publications (American Institute of CertiFed Public Accountants [AICPA] 2000; American Accounting Association [AAA] 1986; Gainen and Locatelli 1995). The accounting profession has chal- lenged the academic community to prepare students for the profession by laying a foun- dation for lifelong learning that will enable graduates to learn how to learn and maintain the skills, knowledge, and professional orientation needed for success in the accounting profession. An increasing collection of literature on self-regulated learning (SRL) identiFes and discusses the attributes of independent learners that enable them to continue learning suc- cessfully even beyond their formal education. Much of this research also provides insights Lydia L. F. Schleifer is an Associate Professor, and Richard B. Dull is an Associate Pro- fessor, both at Clemson University.
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340 Schleifer and Dull Issues in Accounting Education, August 2009 into the kinds of educational opportunities and support that can enhance the self-regulation skills or abilities of students while they are in school and help them become self-regulated learners (Zimmerman and Schunk 2001).
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Metacognition and Performance in the Accounting Classroom -...

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