Examining the relationships between metacognition, self-regulation and critical thinking in online Socratic seminars for high school social studies students
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This study examined the relationships between metacognition, self-regulation and students' critical thinking skills and disposition in online Socratic Seminars for ninth grade World Geography and Culture students. Participants of this study came from six intact pre-AP (Pre-Advanced Placement) classes in a public high school in south central Texas in the United States. They were randomly assigned to two groups: a three class treatment group and a three class comparison group. Students in both groups received training on critical thinking skills, Internet security, "netiquette" and the technological tools involved in the online Socratic Seminars. The experimental group performed two metacognitive tasks. They assigned critical thinking tags in the discussion forum and wrote two structured reflection journals after they finished each of the two Socratic Seminar discussions, while the comparison group performed neither of the two metacognitive tasks. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected for the data analysis. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) showed statistically significant effects of the two metacognitive tasks on students' self-regulation, but not on their critical thinking skills and disposition. The structure equation modeling analysis showed that self-regulation had significant relationships with students' critical thinking disposition, but not with students' critical thinking skills for both the experimental and the comparison groups. The structural equation modeling analysis also revealed an insignificant moderating effect of performing the two metacognitive tasks on the relationship between self-regulation and students' critical thinking. Qualitative data analysis triangulated results from the quantitative analyses.