by Barry J. Zimmerman - 2017
Foreword to the yearbook issue on self-regulated learning.
The editors of this yearbook deserve much credit for assembling this distinguished group of self-regulation researchers to consider the state of the field. As a construct, self-regulated learning is distinctive in its focus on self-monitoring and self-control as dynamic processes that students use to gain mastery in authentic contexts. This yearbook provides a comprehensive description of the construct, including theoretical conceptions, methods of assessment, instructor development, and student empowerment training. The link between theory and practice is discussed extensively, with special attention given to computerized and conventional forms of instruction. The authors make a compelling case that self-regulatory approaches are particularly well-suited for guiding instruction and assessment on tasks that provide sequential feedback during online learning episodes.
The yearbook has many attractive features. For example, researchers from diverse countries were invited to share their methods for enhancing students acquisition of self-regulatory processes. Despite differences in curriculum and school environments, self-regulatory principles and processes proved to be adaptable and effective. A second notable feature of the yearbook is the authors consideration of cutting-edge issues regarding self-regulation in the 21st century, such as the importance of lifelong learning, achievement in a global society, and digital environments that involve choice and feedback. A variety of creative methods for self-regulating e-learning, such as task planning and embedding self-regulatory prompts to guide reading, are described and tested empirically. A third commendable feature of this yearbook is the authors focus on the interaction of emotion-motivation processes with metacognitive ones, especially when explaining proactive forms of students learning processes, such as self-efficacy, self-initiative, and self-attributions. A fourth advantageous feature of the yearbook is the inclusion of research on how preservice and in-service teachers can be taught to increase the role of self-regulatory processes of students in their classes. Evidence is reported that teachers can be shown how to convey self-regulatory processes through planned modeling and monitored feedback. However, rather than adhering to only their lesson plans or scripts, teachers have been instructed also to follow students leads adaptively. There is much to admire about the flexibility of this method of self-regulatory training.
This yearbook is a major contribution to the field. I recommend it strongly not only to researchers but also to faculty, ranging from preschool to collegiate levels, who seek to enhance students empowerment as learners.