Date of Conferral







Celeste Fenton


AbstractActive learning and argumentation are metacognitive teaching strategies that have demonstrated an effect on conceptual change in the sciences. Previous research studies have illustrated an association between active learning and argumentation, increased comprehension of content as well as improved academic performance and self-efficacy. However, there is a gap in literature about the perceptions of students on whether these teaching strategies are successful in increasing scientific conceptual understanding and self-efficacy. The first conceptual framework used for this study was Flavell’s theoretical and empirical research on metacognition, which provides a process for individuals to regulate their cognitive activity for increasing comprehension. A second framework guiding the study was student efficacy which originates from Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT) of self-regulation, where self-efficacy described the ability to control and influence events in one’s life. The basic qualitative design study with a transcendental approach included two former AP Biology students from a mixed grade level (11th and 12th grade) course who were interviewed to understand their experiences with metacognitive teaching strategies in a college-level course. This study promotes social change by demonstrating how metacognitive teaching strategies and instruction can promote higher-order critical thinking skills which are transferable to other societal domains in a rapidly evolving global society.