Posted by: Gillian | January 2, 2013

Don’t let the jargon stop you returning to learning

Today I met a friend who wanted to sign up for a course but she was told she was expected to be a self-regulated learner. “Makes me sound like an oven,” she growled, “and I hate cooking.”

Frazzled cook

Frazzled cook

She continued, “Anyway, what is one?”  Also today, I was reviewing a paper in which primary school children in a poverty stricken community were called self-regulated learners.  If the kids can do it, the adults in a well-equipped city must be able to do so, surely?  There are many, many articles on the subject but Barry Zimmerman’s model is frequently cited (see here for one version). In basic terms, all that is needed is the ability to stop and think:

  1. What am I meant to be doing
  2. What resources are there to help me
  3. How am I going to use the resources
  4. When I’ve used the selected resources, what were the results
  5. Did the results meet my expectations/requirements and why/why not.

If you add into the equation that ‘resources’ includes fellow, often similarly lost, students, tutors, family and friends, then self-regulated learning becomes less like frazzled cooking and more like sociable exploration.  I hope the friend has fun.


(Thanks to debspoons at for the image)


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