Title: Fostering self-regulation skills in mathematics
Authors: De Corte, Erik ×
Depaepe, Fien
Verschaffel, Lieven #
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Publisher: Universidade de Aveiro
Host Document: ELSIN XV. Exploring styles to enhance learning and teaching in diverse contexts. Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network pages:133-139
Conference: Annual Conference of the European Learning Styles Information Network edition:15 location:Aveiro, Portugal date:28 - 30 June 2010
Abstract: There is today a broad consensus among researchers in mathematics education that the ultimate goal of learning and teaching mathematics consists in the acquisition in students of adaptive expertise or competence, i.e. the ability to apply meaningfully learned knowledge and skills flexibly and creatively in a variety of situations (Hatano &
Inagaki, 1986). Research has shown that self-regulation skills constitute an important component of adaptive competence in mathematics (De Corte & Verschaffel, 2006), and are highly correlated with academic achievement in mathematics (Nota, Soresi, & Zimmerman, 2004). But there is also evidence that students do not become self-regulated learners spontaneously (Schunk, 2001). Taking all this into account a challenging question is: What kind of learning environments needs to be designed and implemented in view of fostering in students the acquisition of good selfregula-tion skills as part of becoming competent in mathematics? In this contribution the available research relating to this issue is selectively reviewed. Early studies by Schunk and his co-workers (for an overview see Schunk, 1998)showed a positive influence of modelling, guided practice, and corrective feedback on primary school students’ self-egulation in mathematics. However, this work was largely limited to the impact of teaching separate aspects of self-regulation (e.g., goal setting)on learning discrete computational skills (e.g., subtraction). Design experiments that involved more extended and more comprehensive interventions, and focused on teaching more complex problem-solving activities requiring the applica-tion of multiple skills, yielded also promising and converging results with respect to crucial self-regulatory skills as well as effective instructional interventions (De Corte et al., 2000). Building on those investigations a considerable series of new studies were carried out over the past decade. This research will be selectively reported based on two meta-analyses of intervention studies, respectively at the primary, and at the primary and secondary school levels (Dignath & Büttner 2008; Dignath et al.,, 2008). These meta-analyses confirm that self-regulated mathematics learning can be effectively fostered as well in primary as in secondary school students. More recent studies not included in those meta-analyses yielded additional evidence. For instance, Perels et al., (2009) found that a self-regulation intervention in sixth-grade classrooms enhanced students’ self-regulation competencies as well as their mathematical achievement. Mevarech and Amrany (2008) obtained similar positive results with secon-dary school students.
The question put forward above was: What kind of learning environments are powerful for enhancing students’ selfregulation skills and mathematics achievement? The overall findings of the meta-analyses and the more recent investigations corroborate and complement the character-istics of effective learning environments revealed in the preceding intervention studies mentioned above. Interventions should (1) train in an integrated way cognitive,metacognitive, and motivational strategies, using thereby a variety of teaching methods; (2) pay explicit attention to the usefulness and benefits of strategies; (3) create opportunities for practicing strategies and provide feedback about strategy use; and (4) install an innovative classroom culture that stimulates self-regulated learning, especially reflection.
ISBN: 978-972-789-312-6
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IC
Appears in Collections:Education and Training
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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