Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

12 - Self-Regulated Learning in School Contexts

from Part III - Interventions from Educational and Social/Personality Psychology


Self-regulated learning (SRL) involves a system of cyclically related, goal-directed skills and processes that students can use to overcome academic challenges and to optimize their success in school. Although there are many complex models of SRL, the purpose of this chapter is to distill key themes among prominent SRL theories and to provide practical guidelines for incorporating SRL principles into classroom instruction or direct service activities with students. In this chapter, we describe how students can be taught to engage in a cyclical process of SRL involving the use of metacognitive skills (i.e., setting goals, planning, and evaluating), strategic thinking and action, and adaptive motivational beliefs. The authors also illustrate how educators can support SRL skills by fostering a supportive learning environment encompassing five key principles (e.g., helping students set clear and relevant goals, talking in the language of strategies) and/or by implementing established school-based SRL intervention programs. The characteristics of a SRL intervention program, called the Self-Regulation Empowerment Program (SREP), concrete SRL case scenarios, and supplemental resources are also emphasized.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman.
Bembenutty, H., Cleary, T. J., & Kitsantas, A. (Eds.). (2013). Applications of self-regulated learning across diverse disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Boekaerts, M., Pintrich, P. R., & Zeidner, M. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of self-regulation. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Borkowski, J. G., Weyhing, R. S., & Carr, M. (1988). Effects of attributional retraining on strategy-based reading comprehension in learning-disabled students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 4653.
Briesch, A. M., & Briesch, J. M. (2015). Self-management interventions to reduce disruptive classroom behavior. In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being (pp. 4565). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Butler, D. L., Schnellert, L., & Perry, N. E. (2017). Developing self-regulating learners. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Calhoon, M. B., & Fuchs, L. S. (2003). The effects of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies and curriculum-based measurement on the mathematics performance of secondary students with disabilities. Remedial & Special Education, 24, 235245.
Callan, G. L., Marchant, G. J., Finch, W. H., & Flegge, L. (2017). Student and school SES, gender, strategy use, and achievement. Psychology in the Schools, 54, 11061122.
Cheung, C. S., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2012). Why does parents’ involvement enhance children’s achievement? The role of parent-oriented motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 820832.
Cleary, T. J. (Ed.). (2015). Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Cleary, T. J. (2018). The self-regulated learning guide: Teaching students to think in the language of strategies. New York, NY: Routledge.
Cleary, T. J., & Kitsantas, A. (2017). Motivation and self-regulated learning influences on middle school mathematics achievement. School Psychology Review, 46, 88107.
Cleary, T. J., Kitsantas, A., Pape, S., & Slemp, J. (2018). Integration of socialization influences and the development of self-regulated learning skills: A social-cognitive perspective. In Liem, G. A. & McInerney, D. M. (Eds.), Big theories revisited (2nd ed., pp. 269294). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Cleary, T. J., & Platten, P. (2013). Examining the correspondence between self-regulated learning and academic achievement: A case study analysis. Education Research International.
Cleary, T. J., Velardi, B., & Schnaidman, B. (2017). Effects of the Self-Regulated Learning Empowerment Program on middle school students’ strategic skills, self-efficacy, and mathematics achievement. Journal of School Psychology, 64, 2842.
Desautel, D. (2009). Becoming a thinking thinker: Metacognition, self-reflection, and classroom practice. Teachers College Record, 111, 19972020.
DiBenedetto, M. K. (Ed.). (2018). Connecting self-regulated learning and performance with instruction across high school content areas. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Dignath, C., & Büettner, G. (2008). Components of fostering self-regulated learning among students. A meta-analysis on intervention studies at primary and secondary school level. Metacognition and Learning, 3, 231264.
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K., Marsh, E., Nathan, M., & Willingham, D. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14, 458.
Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring. American Psychologist, 34, 906911.
Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2009). Almost 30 years of writing research: Making sense of it all with the Wrath of Khan. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 24, 5868.
Graham, S., & Taylor, A. Z. (2016). Attribution theory and motivation in school. In Wentzel, K. R. & Miele, D. B. (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 1133). New York, NY: Routledge.
Grolnick, W. S., & Raftery-Helmer, J. N. (2015). Contexts supporting self-regulated learning at school transitions. In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and well-being (pp. 251276). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 143–54.
Hadwin, A., & Oshige, M. (2011). Self-regulation, co-regulation, and socially shared regulation: Exploring perspectives of social in self-regulated learning theory. Teachers College Record, 113, 240264.
Harackiewicz, J. H., Durik, A. M., Barron, K. E., Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Tauer, J. M. (2008). The role of achievement goals in the development of interest: Reciprocal relations between achievement goals, interest, and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 105122.
Harder, J. T., & Abuhamdieh, A. H. (2015). The role of positive regard in self-regulated learning: An analysis of student evaluation data. Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 12, 109120. Retrieved from
Hattie, J. A. C., & Donoghue, G. M. (2016). Learning strategies: A synthesis and conceptual model. Science of Learning, 1, 1603.
Horowitz, S. H., Rawe, J., & Whittaker, M. C. (2017). The state of learning disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5. New York, NY: National Center for Learning Disabilities. Retrieved from
Lawson, M. J., Vosniadou, S., Van Deur, P., Wyra, M., & Jeffries, D. (2018). Teachers’ and students’ belief systems about the self-regulation of learning. Educational Psychology Review. Advance online publication.
Linnenbrink-Garcia, L., & Patall, E. A. (2016). Motivation. In Corno, L. & Anderman, E. M. (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (3rd ed., pp. 91103). New York, NY: Routledge.
McFarland, J., Hussar, B., Wang, X., et al. (2018). The condition of education 2018 (NCES 2018–144). US Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from
Meece, J. L., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Hoyle, R. H. (1988). Students’ goal orientations and cognitive engagement in classroom activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 514523.
Merikangas, K. R., He, J. P., Burstein, M., et al. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in US adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 980989.
Miller, S., Heafner, T., & Massey, D. (2009). High-school teachers’ attempts to promote self-regulated learning: “I may learn from you, yet how do I do it?The Urban Review, 41, 121140.
Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H. (2001). Classroom applications of research on self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 36(2), 89101.
Patrick, H., Ryan, A. M., & Kaplan, A. (2007). Early adolescents’ perceptions of the classroom social environment, motivational beliefs, and engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 8398.
Pressley, M., Borkowski, J., & Schneider, W. (1986). Good information processing: What it is and how education can promote it. International Journal of Educational Research, 13, 857867.
Pressley, M., & Harris, K. R. (2008). Cognitive strategy instruction: From basic research to classroom application. Journal of Education, 189, 7794.
Purdie, N., Carroll, A., & Roche, L. (2004). Parenting and adolescent self-regulation. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 663676.
Reddy, L. A., Newman, E., & Verdesco, A. (2015). Use of self-regulated learning for children with ADHD: Research and practice opportunities. In Cleary, T. J. (Ed.), Self-regulated learning interventions with at-risk youth: Enhancing adaptability, performance, and wellbeing (pp. 1543). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Sakiz, G., Pape, S. J., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2012). Does perceived teacher affective supports matter for middle school students in mathematics classrooms? Journal of School Psychology, 50, 235255.
Schunk, D. H., & Greene, J. A. (Eds.). (2018). Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Schunk, D. H., Meece, J. L., & Pintrich, P. R. (2014). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Schunk, D. H., & Swartz, C. W. (1993). Goals and progress feedback: Effects on self-efficacy and writing achievement. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 18, 337354.
Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 571581.
Sperling, R. A., Richmond, A. S., Ramsay, C. M., & Klapp, M. (2012). The measurement and predictive ability of metacognition in middle school learners. The Journal of Educational Research, 105, 17.
Weinstein, C. E., & Acee, T. W. (2013). Helping college students become more strategic and self-regulated learners. In Bembenutty, H., Cleary, T. J., & Kitsantas, A. (Eds.), Applications of self-regulated learning across disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman (pp. 197236). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
Wentzel, K. R. (2009). Students’ relationships with teachers as motivational contexts. In Wentzel, K. & Wigfield, A. (Eds.), Handbook of motivation at school (pp. 301322). Mahwah, NJ: Taylor and Francis.
Wentzel, K. R., Battle, A., Russell, S., & Looney, L. (2010). Social supports from teachers and peers as predictors of academic and social motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 35, 193202.
Winne, P. H., & Hadwin, A. F. (1998). Studying as self-regulated learning. In Hacker, D., Dunlosky, J., & Graesser, A. (Eds.), Metacognition in educational theory and practice (pp. 277304). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Zeidner, M., Boekaerts, M., & Pintrich, P. R. (2000). Self-regulation: Directions and challenges for future research. In Boekaerts, M., Pintrich, P. R., & Zeidner, M. (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 749768). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In Boekarts, M., Pintrich, P., & Zeidner, M. (Eds.), Self-regulation: Theory, research, and applications (pp. 1339). Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2008). Goal setting: A key proactive source of academic self-regulation. In Zimmerman, B. J. & Schunk, D. H. (Eds.), Motivation and self-regulated learning: Theory, research, and applications (pp. 267296). New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.