Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Self-Regulated Learning

Zimmerman, B. J. (1990). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview. Educational Psychologist, 25(1), 3-17. doi: 10.1207/s15326985ep2501_2

This article was extremely interesting and very clearly marked the correlations of self-regulation to goal setting, reflection and motivation; therefore affecting their self-efficiency and academic achievement. They categorized students in relation to their age and I found it interesting, as a kindergarten teacher, that many studies have shown that,“Before the age of 7, children appear naïve and overly optimistic about their ability to learn (e.g., Glavell, Friedichs,, & Hoyt, 1970; Stipek & Tannatt, 1984). They begin school with only a vague understanding of what is involved in academic tasks (e.g., Meyers & Paris, Lipson, & Wixon, 1983). Young children rarely reflect on their performance (Skinner, Chapman, & Baltes, 1988) and they believe that trying hard is sufficient to ensure success (Dweck & Elliott, 1983). (13)

This creates many questions for me. Is this because students of this age are never asked to self reflect or are never explicitly taught the skills necessary to self-regulate, such as goal setting? I am intrigued and motivated to pursue the works of Paris and Newman, as suggested in the reading, who have done many studies and have suggestions concerning how teaching and peer interaction processes can promote children's development of effective personal theories to self-regulate learning.

Some other quotes I found interesting from this reading are:

‘The ultimate goal of education system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education.’ (4)

“This perspective shifts the focus of educational analyses from students’ learning ability and environments as “fixed” entities to their personally initiated processes and responses designed to improve their ability and their environments for learning.” (4)

“In terms of metacognitive processes, self-regulated learners plan, set goals, organize, self-monitor, and self evaluate at various points during the process of acquisition.” (5)

“Self-regulated learning requires more than cognitive skill; it requires a will or motivational component as well. When students understand that they are creative agents, responsible for and capable of self-development and self-determination of their goals, their self as an agent will provide the motivation necessary for self-regulation.” (11)

“When students set intermediate goals for themselves that are specific and proximal in time, they can perceive their learning progress more readily, and this in turn enhances their self-efficacy. (12)

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