|How Children Learn (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 32 p.)|
Learners must know how to plan and monitor their learning, how to set their own learning goals and how to correct errors.
The term 'self-regulation' is used here to indicate students' ability to monitor their own learning, to understand when they are making errors, and to know how to correct them. Self-regulation is not the same as being strategic. People can use strategies for learning mechanically without being fully aware of what they are doing. Self-regulation involves the development of specific strategies that help learners evaluate their learning, check their understanding and correct errors when appropriate.
Self-regulation requires reflection in the sense of being aware of one's own beliefs and strategies. Reflection can develop through discussion, debates and essays, where children are encouraged to express their opinions and defend them. Another important aspect of reflection is being able to distinguish appearance from reality, common beliefs from scientific knowledge, etc.
In the classroom
Teachers can help students become self-regulated and reflective by providing opportunities:
· To plan how to solve problems, design experiments and read books;
· To evaluate the statements, arguments, solutions to problems of others, as well as of one's self;
· To check their thinking and ask themselves questions about their understanding - (Why am I doing what I am doing? How well am I doing? What remains to be done?);
· To develop realistic knowledge of themselves as learners - (I am good in reading, but need to work on my mathematics);
· To set their own learning goals;
· To know what are the most effective strategies to use and when to use them.
References: Brown, 1975; Boekaerts, Pintrich & Zeidner, 2000; Marton & Booth, 1997.