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The Reflective Essay as a Metacognitive Tool in Portfolio Assessment: A Descriptive Analysis

Corazon V. Balarbar

Date of publication:

June and December 2005

The study attempts to show evidence of metacognitive thinking
among first-year college students of De La Salle University - Manila.
128 portfolios from 32 sections of English One were selected for the
study. Three reflective essays from each of the portfolios were read, and passages showing metacognitive knowledge or experience were identified by the researcher and two interraters. The passages were further classified into personal, task and strategy variables, based on the Metacognitive Model of John Flavell (1985). From the study, it is evident that the metacognitive knowledge of the students is both experiential and cognitive. The most outstanding is the strategy variable, and students ' reflections show ample evidence of planning, monitoring and evaluation of their work, even without previous training. Their facility with the language may translate into their ability to express their reflections in writing. However, to further improve students ' metacognitive skills and critical thinking, conscious training in the classroom may prove beneficial.

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