Teachers and Student Self-Regulation
Submitted by Cristine Smith on August 20, 2013 - 2:44pm
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Hi, all. New to this group. Cristine Smith here. I just finished faciliating a three-session webinar on the research about adult student motivation and persistence. We covered concepts such as self-efficacy, goal setting, and self-regulated learning, and their relationship to student motivation. Self-regulation is defined as "Adopting a learning process where one (1) formulates learning goals, (2) tracks progress towards these goals, (3) identifies gaps in one’s knowledge or skills needed to achieve their goals, and (4) searches for relevant information or strategies to help them fill those gaps." One of the issues we talked about on the webinar is the role of teachers in encouraging student self-regulation, particularly helping students track progress towards these goals. One teacher asked this question: Is there any evidence to suggest that some accountability toward the goals they plan is helpful? For example, is it helpful for a teacher to follow up with the student to discuss their progress toward their goal or is that regulating for them? My response was that setting up a time to cue students to look at their goal and plan is always a good idea, and that the teacher would not be "regulating for them" if the teacher simply asked the students questions like, "So, what progress do you feel you are making towards your goals?" This made me then start thinking about the time constraints that teachers face, and I wondered, as program managers, whether any of you have built into the structure of your program an expectation that students should set their own goals, track their own progress, identify for themselves the gaps in knowledge and skills, and go out and find relevant info and strategies to fill those gaps. Would you expect that teachers should do this as part of their classroom activities, or is there a time when students do that through counseling, or intake, or...? If it is part of classroom activities, would this be something to discuss at a staff professional development meeting? Have any of you had teachers who do this regularly? Just curious how these types of activities, which are known to improve student motivation and persistence, have been or could be incorporated into program expectations and teachers or counselors supported to facilitate them. Thanks, Cristine Smith (Associate Professor, UMass Amherst, former deputy director of NCSALL) P.S. I've also attached a graph that I made referring to the various evidence-based strategies for supporting student motivation and persistence).