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  • Writer's pictureValerie Thomas

Implementing self-regulated learning in the classroom: practice what you preach

One of the stimuli found to effectively promote self-regulated learning (SRL) in the classroom is teachers’ own SRL knowledge and skills. Teachers’ own self-regulatory competences are found a determinant of SRL implementation in the classroom. Self-regulated teachers who tailor their teaching to their own SRL skills, better understand SRL processes and become more effective in SRL promotion.

Teachers as models

A research study (1) showed that teachers’ own SRL skills were found crucial in modeling and explaining SRL strategies in class. By observing teachers’ use of strategies, students learn SRL (2). To serve as a model, teachers need the necessary knowledge to make SRL visible to students and how to explain certain strategies, when and how to use these and their value (3).

In this respect, teachers need the feeling of competence of their own SRL skills to effectively activate students’ SRL in the classroom (1). These feelings of competence are also called ‘teachers’ self-efficacy’, “teachers’ individual beliefs about their own abilities to successful perform specific teaching and learning tasks within the context of their own classrooms” (4). These self-efficacy beliefs affect teachers’ emotions on the job and also affect student learning (4). Teachers who believe in SRL, have the skills and knowhow to promote these SRL skills with their students and who experience the support of school policy may find it easier to implement these skills in the classroom.

To work on these self-efficacy beliefs of teachers and learn how teachers can indirectly and directly promote SRL in the classroom, teacher training is necessary.

Importance of teacher (educator) training

The training of teachers in the concept of SRL is found crucial for the implementation in class. Not only should teachers be trained in the concept of SRL, they also need training in how to implement SRL in practice and specifically how to explicitly, implicitly and indirectly instruct and promote SRL strategies (5).

Next to the content of the training, the design of a teacher training regarding SRL training is important, collaboration and networking among teachers is found crucial (6). By collaborating, it is more likely that activities are maintained over a long period of time and, therefore, produce higher impact and innovation in schools (7). Besides, by setting up a network during a training, the sharing and co-design of materials can be promoted7, which has also beneficial results for SRL implementation on short and long term.

Secondly, a teacher training in SRL should be based on the principles of SRL (8,9), it has to help teachers to become aware of their own learning processes (9). If teachers interact with the content in ways that they expect their students will do, it is more likely that they will engage in those practices.

Given the underpinned importance of teachers’ own SRL capacities and the necessity of teachers to be trained in this matter, the SLIDEshow project offers a training for teacher(s) (educators) concerning SRL (E1), the training is based on the principles of SRL and focusses on collaboration and networking among the participants in order to establish a European wide network on SRL. The training will take place in Athens, November 6-8, 2019. Are you interested to participate in this training? More info can be found on


(1) Peeters, J., De Backer, F., Romero Reina, V., Kindekens, A., Buffel, T., & Lombaerts, K. (2014). The role of teachers’ self-regulatory capacities in the implementation of self-regulated learning practices. Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 1963-1970.

(2) Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: An Overview. Theory Into Practice, 41(2), 64–70.

(3) Paris, S. G., & Winograd, P. (2003). The role of self-regulated learning in contextual teaching: principles for teacher preparation. Washington, DC.

(4) Dellinger, A. B., Bobbett, J. J., Olivier, D. F., & Ellett, C. D. (2008). Measuring teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs: Development and use of the TEBS-Self. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(3), 751–766

(5) Dignath-van Ewijk, C., & van der Werf, G. (2012). What teachers think about self-regulated learning: Investigating teacher beliefs and teacher behavior of enhancing students’ self-regulation. Education Research International, 2012 (Article ID 741713).

(6) European Commission (2015). Shaping career-long perspectives on teaching. A guide on policies to improve initial teacher education. Luxemburg: Publications office of the European Union.

(7) Dignath-van Ewijk, C., Dickhäuser, O., & Büttner, G. (2013). Assessing how teachers enhance self-regulated learning: A multiperspective approach. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 12(3), 338-358.

(8) Peeters, J. (2015). Teacher and school characteristics associated with self-regulated learning practices in primary education: a multidimensional approach (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

(9) Kramarski, B., & Michalsky, T. (2009). Investigating preservice teachers' professional growth in self-regulated learning environments. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(1), 161-175.

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