Volume 11, Issue 4     Editorial (1)
Self-regulation of Learning The field of self-regulation of learning continues to grow and expand its frontiers. This third special issue on self-regulation of learning is evidence of the critical and essential role self-regulation has in our current education system. The importance of self-regulation of learning has been of interest and concern to educators, researchers, and theorists since Albert Bandura’s seminal work on social cognitive theory. Self-regulation of learning refers to a learner's beliefs about their ability to engage in appropriate action, thoughts, feelings, and behavior in order to pursue valuable academic goals. To achieve academic excellence, learners must understand how to regulate their behavior and set and maintain appropriate academic goals despite attractive distractions. Self-regulation has three components. First, self-regulated learners engage in self-observation by scanning, examining, and viewing their own behavior, feelings, emotions, and reactions. Second, effective learners engage in self-judgment by comparing their behavior and actions to established standards such as teachers’ rubrics or consulting knowledgeable peers or adults. Third, skilled learners engage in self-reflection by responding effectively to the outcomes of their efforts. These appropriate responses range from engaging in self-praise and self-reward for successfully completing designated tasks to changing strategies that were not helpful in the attainment of specific goals. Self-regulated learners value learning and set suitable achievement goals. They plan and manage time effectively. They hold positive beliefs about their own abilities and use appropriate cognitive strategies such as critical thinking, organization, rehearsal, and elaboration. By contrast, less regulated learners do not see the value of learning and are often unwilling or unable to set goals. They act reactively and impulsively rather than reflectively and often fail to delay gratification. They focus on rote memorization rather than on deep and effective learning strategies. The contributors to this special issue have done a commendable and laudable work by examining aspects of self-regulation of learning that truly need the attention of researchers and educators. For instance, Neve Ariza presents data supporting the notion of the importance of self-regulation for learning graphic design. She found that some strategies and processes in graphic design were characteristic of self-regulation dimensions. Similarly, Harris and Jacobson examine online vs. classroom-based courses and found statistically significantly higher scores for the online participants on 6 of 15 scales. Finally, Artino and Stephen investigate how students’ task value and self-efficacy were related to their negative achievement emotions (boredom and frustration) in an online course. They found that task value and self-efficacy were significant negative predictors of boredom and frustration. In this special issue, several articles inquire into topics related to self-regulation and students’ learning practices. For instance, Xu examines family homework help and time spent on homework in relationship to homework attitudes and homework management strategies. He found that time spent on homework was related to the use of homework management strategies. Similarly, Hopper and Pomykal-Franz try to understand the level of calibration in at-risk adult college students. They found low calibration among the learners and call for more instructional time to increase calibration skills. Finally, Rosaria and colleagues investigate the associations among students’ school grade levels, academic procrastination and under-achievement, math grades, and self-regulated learning and found that higher student grade level and more academic under-achievement result in more academic procrastination. Self-regulation of learning has long been associated with development and maturation. To illustrate, Zakin explores metacognitive approaches that use inner speech. She supported the use of inner speech as an educational resource that art, mathematics, and literacy teachers can readily incorporate into their pedagogy. Atencio understands self-regulation as a developmental outcome. Four developmental principles that account for the development of self-regulatory capacity are presented. Chye, Hoon Seng, and Liu examine teacher discourse. They use Bakhtin’s constructs of monologism and dialogism to understand the various forms of instructional discourse that may occur and the potential learning outcomes which may arise. Fleisha examines the theoretical underpinnings for establishing autonomy and intrinsic rather than extrinsic self-regulation. Finally, Kuhl, Baumann, and Kazen examine four motivational orientations (i.e., orientations toward competition, diagnosticity, high task difficulty and self-integration) and of a general intelligence factor. They found support for a reliable main effect for self-integration. The promising collection of articles presented in this special issue illustrates the rich variety of new thinking and innovation available in relation to self-regulation of learning. These articles open the doors for more discussion and future investigation. These articles and studies come from scholars from different institutions, regions, and countries, but taken together they all suggest that self-regulation of learning is an important aspect of learning that deserves the attention of educators, researchers, and policy makers as it continues to grow and expand its frontiers.Héfer Bembenutty, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Secondary Education and Youth Services
Queens College of the City University of New York
CFP for the next SELF issue Self-Regulation of Learning Winter 2008.