To borrow from the Education Endowment Foundation, “Self-regulation is about the extent to which learners are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and the strategies they use to learn. It describes how they can motivate themselves to engage in learning and develop strategies enhance their learning and improve.”
I’ve spent 11 weeks in lockdown with a Year 12 A-Level Student (Teenager #1) and a Year 10 GCSE Student (Teenager #2) who have demonstrated to me what self-regulated learning genuinely looks like.
Their Pace of Learning
In the beginning, Teenager #1 struggled. Meltdowns were frequent. Complaints about teachers’ incompetence and unrealistic expectations were vaguely discernible between sobs. Soothing words and mugs of tea were applied before she retreated back into her bedroom and shut the door. I heaved a sigh of relief (she’s studying all three sciences – I’m no help) and buried myself back in my work.
Teenager #2 just got on with things in his usual unassuming way – already demonstrating his burgeoning ability to self-regulate. And gradually, over the weeks, a transformation has taken place. Today, both teenagers told me that they’re quite happy studying from home. They miss physically being with their friends but enjoy the pace of learning that they have settled into. Their pace of learning.
Prepare for Both Scenarios
There is much in the press about those children and young people whose learning has suffered but I think we’ll be wise to prepare for the opposite and plan for how will we manage those fiercely independent, self-regulated learners who walk back through the classroom door.