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Effects Of Raising Student Teachers’ Metacognitive Awareness Of Their Educational Psychological Misconceptions

Stephanie Pieschl, Janene Budd, Eva Thomm, Jennifer Archer

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Fostering metacognitive awareness of misconceptions should enhance deep processing of scientifically correct explanations and thereby decrease misconceptions. To explore these potentially beneficial effects, we conducted a field study implemented in a regular educational psychology course in an Australian teacher education program. In a two-by-two within-subject experimental design, student teachers ( n = 119) answered misconception questionnaires, made metacognitive judgments, and participated in awareness activities at the start (T1) and the end (T2) of the semester (within-subject factor: time). Half of the misconception items focused on educational psychology course content, while the other half focused on related topics that were not covered in the course (non-course content). Awareness activities (AA) consisted of providing feedback regarding all misconception items. During the lectures, we provided additional scientifically correct refutational explanations (RE) regarding course content. Thus, we compared the combined AA+RE treatment for course content with the AA treatment for non-course content (within-subject factor: treatment). Our findings confirm that student teachers harbor numerous high-confidence educational psychological misconceptions. Furthermore, awareness activities plus refutational explanations resulted in significant increases in metacognitive awareness and in performance. Additionally, initial metacognitive overconfidence was related to persistent misconceptions, indicating that overconfidence may hinder correction of course content misconceptions.