A word I recently learned from a friend of mine. It is a very good word that explains a lot on thought process, and more specifically on the learning thought process.
Metacognition is defined as "cognition about cognition", or "knowing about knowing". It comes from the root word "meta", meaning behind. It can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or for problem solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: knowledge about cognition, and regulation of cognition.
Metamemory, defined as knowing about memory and mnemonic strategies, is an especially important form of metacognition. Differences in metacognitive processing across cultures have not been widely studied, but could provide better outcomes in cross-cultural learning between teachers and students.
Some evolutionary psychologists hypothesize that metacognition is used as a survival tool, which would make metacognition the same across cultures. Writings on metacognition can be traced back at least as far as De Anima and the Parva Naturalia of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacognition
So, in simpler terms, metacognition is the thinking about thinking, or thinking about one's own mental process.
Here is an interesting article by Micheal E. Martinez:
I believe creative people (writers, artists, musicians) have accessed metacognition through the trial and error of performing their craft and are, therefore, more in tune with the process.
Visit my author's website at: http://www.dragonsbook.com