The value of self-regulated learning (SRL) associated with academic performance (Bembenutty, Kitsantas, & Cleary, 2013) and social competence (Fitzsimons & Finkel, 2011) has been demonstrated extensively in the research, leading to agreement that a central aim of education is for individuals to think and feel as active participants in their own learning processes (Zimmerman, 2008). Self-regulated learners engage in constructing and rationalising goals, and then in accepting responsibility for monitoring cognition, motivation and behaviour to realise their capabilities. Learning and behaviour are guided and constrained by the environment and as such teachers play pivotal roles in managing environments to empower students as self-regulated learners.
Whilst the vast body of evidence supports this view, limited research has explored how teachers in the middle years of schooling, from Years 5 to 9 in Australia, provide opportunities for self-regulation of learning and behaviour within the social learning environments of classrooms (Perry & Rahim, 2011). Although many school curriculums (e.g., ACARA, 2018) and policy documents (e.g., LEA, 2103) promote the ideals of SRL capabilities, they do not profile a pedagogy for SRL and they do not elaborate teachers’ roles in providing the sources of influence that enable students to generate their internal capabilities for learning. In addition, the middle years of learning are a time when young adolescents are expected to accept greater control and responsibility for themselves as individuals (Mackenzie, McMaugh, & O'Sullivan, 2012).
This study explored teachers’ instructional practices and classroom management techniques that provided opportunities for young adolescent students to self-regulate their learning in social learning environments. The research was conducted as dual case studies within a primary school and a secondary school in Australia. Evidence was drawn from semi-structured interviews with eight teacher participants and from observations of their teaching in middle years classrooms. It was necessary to draw on the complex theory of SRL, based on a social cognitive perspective, as a conceptual lens for data analysis. Three fundamentals describe how self-regulated learners anticipate: a rationale for learning; a responsibility for learning; and a capability for and from learning. The fundamentals associate the theoretical constructs with the significant internal capabilities required for SRL that are underpinned by research evidence. Thematic analysis methods, using inductive intra-case and cross-case processes, generated themes as emerging core pedagogies that were embedded in the teachers’ everyday practices.
Findings: Three approaches, each represented by four core pedagogies, were acknowledged as instructional practices and classroom management techniques that provided opportunities for young adolescent students to self-regulate their learning. These were framed in a pedagogical model for SRL. The teachers discussed and demonstrated how they: (1) connected the learning, (2) facilitated the learning and (3) diversified the learning; to enable students to gain an interest to engage in purposeful learning, to feel a sense of agency and to experience an expectation of success. These approaches are discussed and represented as illustrative snapshots to substantiate how the 12 core pedagogies provide opportunities that enable students internally to think about the purpose of the learning, act with responsibility and feel capable.
Significance: This paper presents a SRL pedagogical model for educational effectiveness and improvement that informs educators professional learning. The practice-based pedagogical model for SRL can be implemented by teachers as a visual planning and reflection tool to negotiate and evaluate learning opportunities for students’ SRL. Rather than suggesting a standardised pedagogy, the pedagogical model has utility for educators and researcher to explore conceptually in other classrooms. To contribute to the advancement of the pedagogical model for SRL, future research is recommended to investigate the impact of the core pedagogies in broader educational contexts.
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Mackenzie, E., McMaugh, A., & O'Sullivan, K. (2012). Perceptions of primary to secondary school transitions: Challenge or threat? Issues in Educational Research, 22(3), 298-314.
Perry, N. E., & Rahim, A. (2011). Studying self-regulated learning in classrooms. In B. J. Zimmerman & D. H. Schunk (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (pp. 122-136). New York, NY: Routledge.
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