Taming a ‘many-headed monster’: Tarricone’s taxonomy of metacognition


Michelle Bannister-Tyrrell, Susen Smith, Peter Merrotsy & Linley Cornish


The research field of metacognition sees a community lacking in rigour, continuity and shared understandings (Schraw, 2009; Shaughnessy, Veenman & Kleyn-Kennedy, 2008). The publication in 2011 of Pina Tarricone’s conceptual framework and taxonomy of metacognition offered a ‘comprehensive and systematic overview of the literature on metacognition’ (Moshman, 2010, cited in Tarricone, 2011, p. xv), finally giving some necessary synthesis to the field. In this paper we briefly introduce some of the difficulties that continue to attribute to the inconsistency of metacognition as a concept and give an overview of Tarricone’s taxonomy of metacognition. We also describe how the taxonomy contributes to deeper understandings of one popular model in gifted education. Current research is making strong links between metacognition and giftedness (Veenman, 2008), but importantly there is growing evidence that metacognition is an ‘aspect of intelligence that can be more easily promoted by education’ (Cornoldi, 2010, p. 257). Due to the complexity and detail of Tarricone’s work and the actual taxonomy itself, it is acknowledged that this paper presents only a brief review and discussion of some of the aspects of the taxonomy, such as the supercategories of declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge. The importance of the interconnectedness of these aspects of Tarricone’s framework is discussed in relation to how they underlie the metacognition and epistemic beliefs of a student to facilitate or inhibit learning.


Vol28_1_BannisterTyrrell_Smith_Merrotsy_and_Cornish (395 downloads)


Keywords: metacognition, giftedness, Tarricone, taxonomy

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