Self-Regulated Pupils in Teaching: Teachers’ Experiences

Aug. 15, 2010

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Vol. 16, No. 4, (August 2010),
p. 491-505.

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

One of the aims of the work on learning in the Norwegian school (Læreplanverket for Kunnskapsløftet, 2006) is that the pupils develop their competence in regulating their own learning. Self-regulated learning includes both the use of learning strategies and a metacognitive approach (Pintrich, 2000, 2004; Zimmerman, 2000).
The purpose of this article is to show how teachers introduce and include cognitive learning strategies as part of their teaching. Furthermore, the article also describes how pupils experience the use of strategies in their learning processes, as seen from the teachers’ perspective.

The article outlines in a theoretical and practical way the concepts of self-regulated learning, learning strategies and metacognition by looking at concrete examples in the classroom.

The teachers presented in the article were taking part in a research and development (R&D) work project in which they were cooperating both with each other and a researcher who was facilitating their way through the development processes.
The study was conducted in one setting involving 12 teachers and 160 pupils in the eight, ninth and tenth grades.
The teachers and the researcher developed the following research question together:
‘How can various work methods with the focus on learning strategies contribute to each pupil’s subject and social development?’

Concluding comments

The study shows that the introduction of strategies, the help given to the pupils when using them and the motivational support teachers give some pupils have to be adapted to each and every pupil.
Such a practice is dependent on good cooperation between the teachers. The teachers have to discuss whether the same strategy should be introduced intensively in every subject at the same time or whether it should be used in those subjects in which it could be most suitable.

The teachers in the study have experienced that both the quicker and the slower pupils challenge them with regard to the use of strategies. The teachers have to introduce the strategies to the weak achievers who work at a slower pace and they also have to be guided in choosing to use other strategies. On the other hand, some of the quicker pupils have to be motivated to use strategies in their learning work because they find strategy use to be time-consuming and boring.
Finally, this study shows that although self-regulated learning is one of the aims of the teaching practice, this does not mean that the pupils are left on their own to totally direct their own learning. Even though the pupils are from 13 to 16 years of age, they all need help from their teachers, both to learn and control their own learning processes.

Læreplanverket for kunnskapsløftet [Knowledge promotion curriculum for the 13‐year school]. 2006. Oslo: KD [Ministry of Education and Research] and Utdanningsdirektoratet [Norwegian Directorate of Education and Training].

Pintrich, P.R. 2000. “The role of goal orientation in self‐regulated learning”. In Handbook of self‐regulation, Edited by: Boekarts, M., Pintrich, P.R. and Zeidner, M. 451–502. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Pintrich, P.R. 2004. A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self‐regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16: 385–407.

Zimmerman, B.J. 2000. “Attaining self‐regulation: A social cognitive perspective”. In Handbook of self‐regulation, Edited by: Boekarts, M., Pintrich, P.R. and Zeidner, M. 13–39. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Updated: Aug. 23, 2011