Towards effective learning strategies

Anouk Simone Bergstra

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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To become self-regulative in learning, students should be able to deploy various learning strategies in a flexible way. For this, they require specific knowledge and skills, referred to as metacognition. Metacognition is a complex concept that is difficult for teachers to teach to their students.
This thesis focused on three goals: 1) develop a model of metacognition which should be useful in teaching practice, 2) determine whether teachers can be trained to use this model to improve metacognition and subsequent performance of their students, and 3) determine which strategies are most effective to improve performance, and how these can be trained best.
The dissertation shows that the developed model of metacognition was not found entirely in an educational setting (grade 5 and 6). Students’ metacognitive knowledge and skills were only partially developed. Teachers were trained in the application of this model in their reading comprehension lessons in upper primary education. Unfortunately, they failed to improve the academic performance of their students, nor their students' metacognition.
Through meta-analytic research in which a large number of studies were systematically compared, knowledge regarding the third goal of this thesis could be provided. Teaching planning, metacognitive knowledge, and task value proved the most effective elements of strategy trainings. These trainings are most effective when these are conducted by the researcher himself, instead of the teacher. Also, the way in which effects are measured influences effect sizes reported: largest effects are obtained with tests developed aligned to the training that is evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • van der Werf, Margaretha, Supervisor
  • Kostons, Danny, Co-supervisor
Award date11-Jun-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7852-7
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7851-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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