The Situated Dynamics of Purposes of Engagement and Self-Regulation Strategies: A Mixed-Methods Case Study of Writing

Feb. 10, 2011

Source: Teachers College Record, Volume 113 Number 2, 2011, p. 284-324.

Most research on motivation and self-regulation investigates quantitative relations between level (e.g., self-efficacy) or type of motivation (e.g., mastery goals) and level of self-regulation.


Alternatively, this study proposes that motivation and self-regulation strategies are integrated in purpose-strategies action orientations, which are constructed through a situated and dynamic meaning-making process.

Participants and Setting
The current study presents a case analysis of one Israeli ninth-grade female student who engaged in a writing task.

Research Design
The qualitative case study employed mixed-methods data that included traces in the written product, microprocesses observation, stimulated-recall interview, and a general interview.


Triangulation of data from these different sources demonstrated that individual and contextual characteristics interacted to result in a dynamic flow of situated purpose-strategies actions along the student's engagement in the writing task.


The findings suggest that the situated purpose of engagement should be an integral element in conceptions of self-regulation.
Furthermore, the findings suggest that different purposes may call for different types of self-regulation; and that conceptualization and investigation of motivation and self-regulation should be domain specific.
Finally, the results suggest that mixed methods, as used in this article, can provide productive tools to assess the dynamic and situated process of self-regulation.

Updated: Oct. 23, 2011