Winter 2007     ISSN 1096-1453     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.