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Regulation of Motivation: Contextual and Social Aspects

by Christopher A. Wolters - 2011

Background: Models of self-regulated learning have been used extensively as a way of understanding how students understand, monitor, and manage their own academic functioning. The regulation of motivation is a facet of self-regulated learning that describes students� efforts to control their own motivation or motivational processing. The regulation of motivation includes students� knowledge, monitoring, and active management of their motivation or motivational processing.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is threefold. One, a conceptual understanding of regulation of motivation highlighting three core facets is presented. These aspects are knowledge of motivation, monitoring of motivation, and use of strategies to regulate motivation. Two, prior empirical work documenting the regulation of motivation across contexts is reviewed. This work indicates that students at different developmental levels use motivational regulation strategies and that their use varies as a function of the academic task or context. Three, social influences on the development of regulation of motivation that include modeling, scaffolding, direct instruction, and sociocultural processes are discussed.

Research Design: This article is an analytic essay in which selected prior research is reviewed only briefly.

Conclusions/Recommendations: Overall, it is argued that motivational regulation is a critical aspect of self-regulated learning that must be studied more thoroughly. Specific avenues for future studies are noted and include work that examines students� knowledge and monitoring of motivation, how regulation of motivation varies across contexts, and how instructional and social processes impact its development.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 113 Number 2, 2011, p. 265-283
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15977, Date Accessed: 9/22/2021 10:09:11 AM

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About the Author
  • Christopher Wolters
    University of Houston
    CHRISTOPHER A. WOLTERS earned a Ph.D. in education and psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is now an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Houston, where he has served as director for the Ph.D. and M.Ed. programs in educational psychology since 2002. In his research, Dr. Wolters studies motivation and self-regulation, including their development and how they interact to influence students academic engagement, learning, and achievement.
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