Although they have their differences, educational practitioners and academic researchers largely agree on a broad goal: to develop in students the kinds of thinking skills that will prepare them to contribute to a democratic society. But the two groups largely speak different languages. While educators frequently talk about critical thinking as an objective, researchers have largely avoided the term, preferring constructs that can be more precisely defined and measured. How do we connect critical thinking to modern research on cognition and learning? The authors propose the construct of metacognition as having the potential to bridge the concerns of educators and researchers whose work is addressed to the development of skilled thinking. Given its growing importance in studies of cognition and learning, teachers would benefit from an understanding of the mechanisms involved in metacognition and how best to foster it.