Self-regulated learning is about how a person regulates their emotions, cognitions, behaviors, and other aspects over the course of a learning experience. We also know that, especially at school level, the earlier skills are developed in self-learning processes, the more effective and rewarding the educational experience will be.
Self-regulatory skills include good time management, being able to quickly select the most efficient problem-solving strategies, and actively managing emotional states, such as frustration.
In this article we will deepen the theoretical reflection regarding self-regulated learning .
Definition of self-regulated learning
Barry Zimmerman, one of the leading researchers in the field of self-regulated learning, says that self-regulation is not a mental or achievement-related skill, but is rather a self-direction process through which students transform their mental skills into school skills.
According to Zimmerman, self-regulated learning not only involves in-depth knowledge of a skill, but also involves self-awareness, self-motivation, and behavior to implement that same knowledge appropriately.
While freshmen rely on feedback and compare their performance with that of others, often attributing their failures to irretrievable shortcomings, more experienced students, who know how to manage their learning, recognize when they have been wrong by focusing on how to fix what is gone. crooked.
On the other hand, self-regulation is not a trait that some students possess and others do not. Rather, according to Zimmerman, self-regulation involves the selective use of specific processes that must be personally adapted to each learning task. Therefore, it is better to talk about self-regulation than learning or specific learning.
The importance of self-regulated learning skills
Although self-regulated learning skills are essential tools for lifelong learning, they are often not taught explicitly. This causes many students to lack independence, motivation, persistence and a positive sense of well-being. In order for educators to effectively convey these skills to their students, they need to have a thorough understanding of the most important mechanisms of this self-regulation.
Students go through three main stages when regulating their learning: planning, performance and reflection. These phases are not necessarily in succession.
- During planning, students set their own goals and standards that must be met in a specific assignment, session or course. This phase involves the students’ perception of the learning environment.
- In the performance phase, students demonstrate their commitment to the learning experience. During this phase, students monitor their learning, generally comparing their progress with the standards set in the planning phase.
- The reflection phase sees students engaged in thinking and evaluating their own learning experience. This includes reflecting on feedback and memorizing ideas and concepts for use in the future.
Given the importance of self-regulated learning, teachers need to explicitly teach these skills and provide strategies to students so that they can apply them in the learning phase. Part of this teaching process should include:
- Explain the usefulness and importance of self-regulated learning skills to students.
- Explicitly teach students self-regulated learning strategies.
- Helping students identify when and where to use self-regulated learning skills.
The study (Dignath-van Ewijk, C. and van der Werf, G. 2012) based on teachers’ beliefs and behaviors related to self-regulated learning demonstrated that educators believe in the value of teaching self-regulated learning skills to their own students. The results show that adequate teacher training can equip them with tools and knowledge to effectively promote self-regulated learning.