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Metacognition, Professional Military Education and AFCLC

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  • By AFCLC Outreach Team

In a peer-reviewed article recently published in Army University Press’ Journal of Military Learning (JML), the Air Force Culture and Language Center professors Dr. Angelle Khachadoorian and Dr. Susan Steen shared their research on metacognition. Dr. Khachadoorian, Associate Professor of Anthropology at AFCLC and Dr. Steen, Assistant Professor of Cross-Cultural Communication at AFCLC. Together, they joined forces with Dr. Lauren Mackenzie, Professor of Military Cross-Cultural Competence at the Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL), Marine Corps University to publish an article on metacognition and the connection to Professional Military Education (PME). Dr. Khachadoorian said the article and research stemmed from a conversation the professors had about their experience in the classroom.

“No one is really talking about the ‘what’ and the classroom techniques of metacognition as it applies to PME. It’s topic that isn’t really discussed when it comes to military and education. There’s a lot of writing and work when it comes to what is being taught in PME, but very little is discussed when it comes to the how -- the process of teaching PME,” Dr. Khachadoorian said. “Dr. Mackenzie teaches a course on metacognition, Dr. Steen incorporates these techniques in the courses she teaches, and different AFCLC professors have used some of the techniques during AFCLC’s General Officer Pre-Assignment Acculturation Courses (GOPAC). It just made sense that we came together to work on this piece.”

The concept of metacognition is the process of thinking about thinking and the awareness of one’s own thought process. The article describes metacognition and reviews its usage in scholarly contexts, explaining why it is important to PME and demonstrating, through the inclusion of three case studies, how it can be effectively used by PME instructors. Dr. Khachadoorian said the article was also reviewed by several of their peers.


“Our hope is that this is accessible and that teachers (new and experienced) will be able to take some of these examples and lessons learned and apply them in the classroom,” she said.


For more on the article, visit:

To learn more about AFCLC and GOPAC, visit the center’s website at:

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