Publication Date

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Adam Shiverdecker


Art and Metacognition, Art Education, Art Pedagogy, Cognition, Metacognition, Self-reflection

Subject Areas

Art education; Educational philosophy; Education


Metacognition is a conscious activity that occurs in the brain when an

individual monitors or controls his or her thinking. Research in multiple fields has

found that metacognition plays a significant role in a person’s learning. It is

currently a popular trend in general education to teach students metacognitive

strategies, and research has shown that it is a practical tool to boost student

success. Moreover, metacognition is most effective when it is taught explicitly

and regularly practiced by the students. There is a need for more research into

the effectiveness of explicitly teaching metacognition in middle and high school

visual arts classrooms. Art education has undergone architectural changes over

the past few decades; as of late, it is moving towards a more open-ended

approach which is demonstrated in current art standards. Based on the author’s

student teaching experiences and the literature review of this thesis, she

proposes what art curriculum could look like when metacognition and cognitive

development are the focus of the classroom. She concludes that embedding

metacognitive strategies in the visual art curriculum will help students develop

critical thinking and self-reflective skills in addition to artistic skills.