The Teacher's Role in Fostering Self-Regulated Learners: A Professional Development Model
Brookbank, Christine Marie
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Despite decades of educational research on the importance of fostering students to develop self-regulated learning (SRL) skills, teachers may continue to struggle with offering SRL opportunities in the curriculum and/or providing explicit self-regulatory strategy instruction for students. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to evaluate the impact of a professional development program designed to increase teacher knowledge of students’ SRL and teacher adoption of instructional strategies that develop students’ SRL. Eighteen teachers at a private, all-female high school in a Midwestern state participated in this study; nine teachers were matched into a control group and nine teachers were matched into an intervention group. Teachers in the intervention group participated in 11 collaborative professional development sessions, each ranging from 45 to 60 minutes, over the course of three months. The professional development program was designed to foster an awareness on the value of supporting students as self-regulated learners and to support teachers in implementing instruction based on the research-informed cycle of SRL. To examine the effects of the professional development program, quantitative and qualitative data were collected from pretest and posttest classroom observations, professional development reflection questions, and follow-up interviews. A MANCOVA was conducted to analyze the data collected during pretest and posttest classroom observations, which revealed no statistical significant differences between teachers in the control group and teachers in the intervention group’s implementation of instruction to support students’ forethought/planning, performance/monitoring, and self-reflection/evaluating phases of SRL. Due to the small sample size, the between-subject analysis for each subscale was also examined. Although these results should be reviewed with caution, group assignment revealed a significant effect for the forethought/planning subscale. Additionally, participant interviews revealed that teachers in the intervention group were able to clearly describe how they would adapt their classroom instruction and construction of the learning environment to support students as self-regulated learners. Results from this study suggest that collaborative, ongoing professional development among teachers in varying content areas can bridge the gap between SRL theory and practice, ultimately supporting teachers in understanding how to foster students as self-regulated learners.