Date of Award

Spring 1-29-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Gail Cahill

Second Advisor

Caroline Heller

Third Advisor

Sue Pennini


This study investigated the transformative quality of a metacognitive education. It examined a transformative metacognitive education from both the subjective personal perspective of the student who has gone through the process of transformation and the more objective pedagogical perspective of the professors who work to bring forth such transformational experiences in their students. Through interview and analysis these perspectives were integrated to produce a pedagogical theoretical framework derived from experience and grounded in observations about metacognition across various scientific disciplines. The personal elements of metacognition that promote educational transformation from within the students were contrasted with the pedagogical approaches of the educators from the program that stimulated the transformation. The study compared and contrasted the theoretical and pedagogical insights gained from interviews of eight senior professors from Curry College’s Program for the Advancement of Learning (PAL), with this writer's lived transformative experience years before as a student at that program. The study identified core pedagogical elements for teaching transformative metacognition and self-regulation. The findings ground metacognitive educational approaches to foundational neuropsychological elements of learning and perception. These findings suggest metacognitive education could be applied widely across educational environments, ages, and skill levels to support human development, productivity, and regulatory behaviors. It was found that one of the chief attributes of a metacognitive education was that it empowered self-authorship, particularly in those students traditionally disempowered by disability, disadvantage or prejudice. Future inquiry into educational approaches that improve and promote transformative self-directed learning are needed to broaden the scope of these findings beyond this study's small and highly targeted sample. Findings suggest that a metacognitively focused educational pedagogy produces a student teacher relationship capable of promoting the self-regulatory behaviors needed to develop self-authorship and personal transformation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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