Self-regulated Strategy Development (SRSD)
SRSD is a model of cognitive strategy-instruction that was initially developed in 1982 for students with learning disabilities as well as for other students who struggled with writing and with SRL (Harris, Santangelo & Graham, 2010:238; Horner & O’Connor, 2007:4; Mayer, 2003:143). Although developed for writing, the pioneers of the SRSD programme showed how the students practiced SRL strategies of planning, goal-setting; self-instruction and self-monitoring, which were explicitly taught across all grades to improve their writing (Harris, et al., 2010:239; Mason, Harris & Graham, 2011:21; Santangelo, Harris & Graham, 2008:81). In addition, the students were helped to develop effective attributions.
The SRSD model involves six recursive stages which are used as framework for instruction, namely develop background knowledge, discuss it, model it, memorise it, support it, and practice it independently (Mason, et al. 2011:22; Santangelo, et al., 2008:82). The stages can be combined, re-ordered or modified on the basis of the students’ needs, and can also be revisited if the concepts or the components of the concepts are not mastered at certain stages (Harris, et al., 2010:239).
The guidelines to teachers to implement the SRSD instructional frameworks are briefly explained next.
Develop background knowledge. The teacher evaluates the students’ prior knowledge and prerequisite skill-needs, and handles skill-deficits by either re-teaching or modification. The primary aim is to ensure that the students understand, learn and apply the strategies.
Discuss it. Discussions are held with the students to ensure that they are motivated and willing to learn the new strategy. Similarly, the teacher enables the students to evaluate their current performance, and also introduces the concept of progress-monitoring. The purpose and possible benefits of the new strategy in terms of how and when to use it, are also explained.
Model it. The teacher uses ‘think-aloud’ to demonstrate to the students how to use the new strategy, as well as positive self-talk to maintain motivation and to deal with attributions. The students are also allowed to discuss the efficacy of the new strategy and how it can be modified. The concept of goal-setting can be introduced and the students are encouraged to set targets based on the individual results of the evaluations done in stage 1.
Memorise it. The teacher uses various activities, memorisation techniques or methods to motivate the students to use the strategies automatically. This also includes providing the students with time for practice. The purpose of this stage is to ensure that the students commit the new strategies to memory and use them automatically.
Support it. The teacher scaffolds instruction and gradually hands over the control of the strategies to the students when they show that they can independently use them. The use of frequent feedback, positive reinforcement and cooperative peer-groups proved to be effective at this stage.
Practice it. This stage is characterised by the fact that students begin to use the strategies consistently, and independently of the teacher. The students are also encouraged to identify other areas where the strategies can be used, as well as how they can be modified.
In summary, the model has been widely applied in both primary and secondary schools, and yielded positive results in improving SRL skills. According to Harris, et al. (2010:241), a meta-analysis of the interventions shows that the SRSD had a strong positive impact on the students’ quality of work. The students learnt SRL strategies in context.
The six stages of the SRSD model are intended to serve as a flexible instructional framework which should be adjusted in response to the unique needs of each student. This characteristic makes the SRSD model appropriate to implement and adapt to any SRL intervention.
The Model of Strategic Learning (MSL)
Building upon prior research, Weinstein, et al. (2005:739) designed the MSL. The adjunct course on learning strategies and techniques that was developed for Texas University students with deficient learning strategies was based on the MSL (Weinstein, et al., 2011a:142). The MSL focuses on components that influence academic performance, namely skill, will, self-regulation, and the academic environment (Weinstein, et al., 2005:734; Weinstein et al., 2011a:141).
The skill component of the MSL includes three knowledge types, namely the declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge about the self (see section 184.108.40.206); demands of the academic tasks and content; and the context of learning and learning strategies. Examples of the application of the skill component include knowing how to use active rehearsal and elaboration strategies, and thinking skills.
The will component includes the interactive affective and motivational factors which either contributes to academic success (goal-setting, positive self-beliefs and feelings about learning), or negatively influence academic performance (high anxiety, low self-efficacy, and external attribution of performance).
Examples of the self-regulation component include aspects that focus on the self-management of cognition, motivation processes, and task-related emotions.
Therefore, self-regulation is regarded as the ‘engine’ of learning, as noted (Weinstein et al., 2011a:47).
SRL training that is based on the MSL model follows a particular process. Prior to introducing students to the model, they are assessed through some instrument such as the LASSI-HS, and a reading battery (Weinstein et al., 2005:739). Following the assessment, the students are provided with an outline of the components of the MSL, and are not only taught the strategies but also how the strategies are linked together and interact with other components of the model. Thus, the LASSI-HS is used as a pre-test/post-test measure to provide prescriptive and diagnostic information for each of the 10 scales grouped as follows:
skill: Information-processing(INP), Selecting the main ideas (SMI), Test strategies(TST);
will: Anxiety (ANX), Attitude (ATT), Motivation (MOT);
self-regulation: Concentration (CON), Self-testing (SFT), Study aids (STA), Time-management (TMT).
A learning and study strategies-programme that was based in the MSL model proved to be effective in improving the students’ general academic performance. According to Weinstein, et al. (2005:743), 71% of the students who participated in the course graduated after five years, despite having relatively low Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores and motivation on the LASSI-HS motivation scale. Furthermore, the LASSI appears to be the instrument most often used to measure the results of learning strategy interventions.
The Self-regulation Empowerment Programme (SREP)
The SREP is a school-based training programme that was originally designed to assist the self-regulation teacher to enhance the academic performance of at-risk middle and high school students in Science (Cleary & Zimmerman, 2004:540). The SREP is based on the social-cognitive theory, and is designed to enable the teacher to apply the SRL model to enhance the students’ knowledge of, and use of learning strategies (Cleary & Platten, 2012:3). Furthermore, the SREP is based on the assumption that the use of deficient strategies, poor motivation and poor self-regulation are amongst the most important factors that contribute to low academic achievement (Cleary & Zimmerman, 2004:540). Therefore, the SREP aims at empowering the students to adapt and alter their use of learning strategies in accordance with the demands of the course or hindrances that they may encounter during authentic learning (Cleary & Platten, 2012:3; Cleary, Platten & Nelson, 2008:75).
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY .
1.3 THE PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.4 THE AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY .
1.6 THE RESEARCH DESIGN
1.7 DEFINITION OF THE CONCEPTS
1.8 CHAPTER DIVISION
CHAPTER 2: THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK – THE SOCIAL-COGNITIVE THEORY
2.2 THE MAJOR THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES USED IN SRL RESEARCH
2.3 THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THIS STUDY: THE SOCIAL-COGNITIVE THEORY
2.4 PERSPECTIVE ON HOW LEARNING OCCURS. IMPORTANT CONSTRUCTS OF THE SOCIAL-COGNITIVE THEORY
CHAPTER 3: SELF-REGULATED LEARNING (SRL) PROGRAMMES
3.2 THE LINK BETWEEN SRL AND LEARNING STRATEGIES
3.3 SRL INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES
3.4 SPECIFIC SRL STRATEGIES
3.5 MEASURING SELF-REGULATED LEARNING
3.6 THE INSTRUCTION OF LEARNING AND STUDY STRATEGIES AND SRL MODELS
3.7 RESEARCH REPORTS ON INTERVENTIONS TO ENHANCE THE STUDENTS’ SRL
3.8 THE CONCEPTUAL MODEL USED IN THIS STUDY
CHAPTER 4: THE RESEARCH DESIGN
4.2 THE SPECIFIC RESEARCH QUESTIONS .
4.3 THE RESEARCH DESIGN
4.4 THE RESEARCH METHOD
CHAPTER 5: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
5.2 THE QUANTITATIVE RESULTS
5.3 THE QUALITATIVE FINDINGS
5.4 DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
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