In This Article Self-Regulation in Educational Settings

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Journals
  • Meta-Analysis Studies
  • Models of Self-Regulation
  • Instructional Practices
  • Student Achievement
  • Teachers’ Self-Regulation
  • Measurement of Self-Regulation

Psychology Self-Regulation in Educational Settings
Gregory Schraw
  • LAST REVIEWED: 31 May 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 November 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0053


Self-regulation (SR) refers to controlling one’s own performance before, during, and after a learning episode in a highly strategic and adaptable manner. Self-regulation is a broad, interdisciplinary construct that is used to describe self-management of learning, mood, affect, or physical performance in humans, animals, and machines. However, the present article focuses on self-regulation of human cognition and learning, which frequently is referred to as self-regulated learning (SRL). Several different general models of SRL have been proposed since the early 1980s that have common and distinctive features. Common features include goal setting and planning, whereas distinctive features include the role of self-generated feedback or external scaffolding in the self-regulation process. In addition, all of these models make a basic distinction between skill and will, where skill includes planning, execution of learning tactics to facilitate learning, and evaluation of one’s cognitive performance; while will refers to motivation and volition to learn and perform well. Some models cited in this review address a variety of components subsumed under skill and will, while others focus on a small number of skill- and will-related components. Some citations focus on a theoretical understanding of the overall process of SR, while others focus on the instructional and motivational benefits of SRL skills that enable students to engage and persist in order to acquire knowledge and construct higher-order conceptual meaning. This bibliography includes six main sections that focus on models, components of skill and will, instructional practices, student achievement, measurement, and sources and references related to SR (see Models of Self-Regulation, Components of Self-Regulation, Skill, Will, Instructional Practices, Student Achievement, Measurement of Self-Regulation, General Overviews, Journals, and Edited Volumes). The section Models of Self-Regulation describes three theoretical models that discuss components of SR as well as factors that constrain the teaching and development of SRL skills. Components of Self-Regulation addresses skill and will in SR. Instructional Practices examines integrative reviews of instructional practices, while Student Achievement examines effects of SR training and strategy use on student achievement. Measurement of Self-Regulation considers different approaches to the measurement of SR. The first few sections provide bibliographic sources and references.

General Overviews

Self-regulation in educational settings focuses on the development of self-regulation skills and motivational beliefs that support self-regulation. There has been a great deal of research since the early 1970s that ranges from applied to theoretical discussions of self-regulation of learning. Boekaerts and Corno 2005 is one of the best overall summaries of self-regulation, including a discussion of types of self-regulation, theoretical models, assessment strategies, and instructional strategies. Brier 2010 focuses on a variety of applied instructional strategies designed for cognitive and social self-regulation in the classroom. Fox and Riconscente 2008 discusses self-regulation from three theoretical perspectives that have dominated learning theory over the past one hundred years, including those of William James, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky. Schmitz, et al. 2004 is an overview that collectively discusses recent theories, instructional strategies, assessment, and psychological correlates of self-regulation. Winne 2005 compares three models of cognitive self-regulation and discusses implications for instruction and learning based on these models.

  • Boekaerts, Monique, and Lyn Corno. 2005. Self-regulation in the classroom: A perspective on assessment and intervention. Applied Psychology 54:199–231.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2005.00205.xE-mail Citation »

    The authors provide an excellent review of models of self-regulation, a variety of intervention strategies designed to promote self-regulated learning in the classroom, and a discussion of measurement strategies that are best suited to assess different facets of self-regulated learning.

  • Brier, Norman. 2010. Self-regulated learning: Practical interventions for struggling teens. Champaign, IL: Research Press.

    E-mail Citation »

    This 175-page text offers a number of useful suggestions for helping teens develop cognitive and motivational strategies that allow them to better regulate their learning and social choices. This text is especially helpful for those interested in real-life applications of self-regulated learning theory.

  • Fox, Emily, and Michelle Riconscente. 2008. Metacognition and self-regulation in James, Piaget, and Vygotsky. Educational Psychology Review 20:373–389.

    DOI: 10.1007/s10648-008-9079-2E-mail Citation »

    This article examines self-regulation in the works and theories of James, Piaget, and Vygotsky. The authors align James’s perspective on self-regulation with the self, Piaget’s with the other and object, and Vygotsky’s with the medium or agency of language. They compare the three theories and discuss how each envisions the promotion of self-regulation in the classroom.

  • Schmitz, Bernhard, Michaela Schmidt, Meike Landmann, and Christiane Spiel. 2004. New developments in the field of self-regulated learning. Journal of Psychology 215:153–156.

    E-mail Citation »

    The authors introduce a special issue on self-regulation in the Journal of Psychology that addresses the development of new instruments, prediction of self-regulation strategy use, improvement of self-regulated learning, integration of self-regulated learning in the classroom, and validation of a process approach to self-regulation.

  • Winne, Philip H. 2005. A perspective on state-of-the-art research on self-regulated learning. Instructional Science 33:559–565.

    DOI: 10.1007/s11251-005-1280-9E-mail Citation »

    This article compares different models of self-regulation and discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each model. The author also reviews the effectiveness of different instructional interventions and discusses implications for assessing self-regulated learning before, during, and after critical learning episodes.

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