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.