Essay Example on Self-regulation as The process whereby students activate and sustain cognitions behaviors

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According to Schunk et al 2008 social cognitive theorists define self regulation as The process whereby students activate and sustain cognitions behaviors and effects that are systematically oriented toward attainment of their goals p 154 Thus within this theoretical framework self regulation is a process in which students manage and regulate their cognition motivation and behavior through self regulatory processes to achieve an academic goal This social cognitive theory assumes that learning can be affected by cognitive-behavioral and environmental variables Bandura 1991 Additionally self regulation process can be affected by various factors rooted in the social cognitive theory of Albert Bandura 1986 This theory is divided into five main concepts namely Learning Triadic Reciprocal Causation Human agency and Dysfunctional Behavior This paper focuses on Human agency as it reflects the notion not only of empowerment or the process of having power via goal-directed actions but also self efficacy which is an integral tool to become more empowered Cattaneo Chapman 2010 


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The term empowerment here is defined by Mayes 2009 as Self regulated learning p 12 Unlike behaviorism which posited that human behavior is both shaped and controlled by external factors through stimuli and reinforcers Bandura's 1986 social cognitive theory considers human functioning as a series of reciprocal interactions between behavioral environmental and personal variables Therefore in addition to the environmental input learners play a major role in controlling their own learning strategies and outcomes Such ability to both shape and control one s outcomes is called human agency Feist Feist 2009 state that Bandura strongly believes that people are self regulating proactive self reflective and self organized and that they have the power to influence their own actions to produce desired consequences p 486 Consequently human agency is an active process It is defined by Bandura 2009 as a Human capability to exert influence over ones functioning and the course of events by one's actions p 8 Human agency includes four central characteristics called intentionality forethought self reactiveness and self reflectiveness Bandura 2006 

First intentionality refers to all acts that people fulfill and accomplish intentionally Intentions can be future-directed including future plans and actions as they are formed before the actions themselves Consequently people tend to have intentions which englobe not only action plans but also strategies in order to realise and perform them Bandura 2004 Such future plans of action are adjusted revised filled in and reconsidered depending on new information as the plan is carried out through the process of its achievement Bratman 1999 Thus to optimize the plan's implementation self regulation of intentions are heavily needed For this teachers must initiate their students to be aware of their own thinking to be strategic and guide their motivation towards significant goals Montalvo Gonzalez Torres 2004 In the face of this the goal for the students is to be self regulated learners and to learn to be autonomous learners responsible for their own learning In brief they have to learn to be teachers for themselves Schunk Zimmerman 1998 



Therefore to reach this objective teachers have to shift from their traditional role which is teacher-centered to learner-centered encouraging learners autonomy through self reflective practices Holec 1981 defines autonomy as The ability to take charge of one's own learning which involves determining the objectives defining the contents and progressions selecting the methods and techniques to be used monitoring the procedure of acquisition evaluating what has been acquired p 47 Consequently teachers have to help their students to develop metacognitive strategies via creating opportunities and selecting adequate activities conducive to autonomous learning Such metacognitive strategies are defined by O'Malley Chamot 1990 as Thinking about the learning process planning for learning and self evaluation evaluating after the learning activity has been completed p 8 Hence these metacognitive strategies are self regulatory skills used by autonomous learners Second forethought implies more than future-directed plans

By setting goals and anticipating the results of future actions people need not only to guide but also motivate their efforts in advance to perform the task as well Third self reactiveness refers to the notion that people are more than planners and forethinkers they are self regulators too Bandura 2004 Finally self reflectiveness refers to self evaluation and self assessment It involves the metacognitive ability to reflect on oneself and one's actions Bandura 1986 Through self reflection students evaluate their own motivation actions and the effectiveness of the strategies deployed to attain a goal 1 2 0 Self Regulation Subprocesses Bandura s social cognitive theory 1986 assumes that the self regulation process encompasses three central levels or subprocesses namely self observation monitoring ones activity self judgement self evaluation of one's performance and self reaction self reaction to performance outcomes Bandura 1986 Kanfer Gaelick 1986 Such subprocesses interact with each other because the students observe their performances judge them according to certain standards and react to their outcomes Self observation refers to a deliberate attention to particular aspects of one's behavior Bandura 1986 It is assisted through the use of self recording where behaviors are recorded

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