What do we want students to do as they read? Do we want them to be consciously aware of their processes in order to have control over them? What is the level of awareness and control that best supports comprehension? We will move toward addressing these questions, beginning by reviewing the concept of metacognition through its historical roots, as described by Brown, Bransford, Ferrera, and Campione (1983), and discussing how metacognition has found application to reading in the form of strategies instruction. We then describe an alternative approach to comprehension instruction and discuss results of a study that compared the two approaches.