In the 1960s, the legendary psychologist Albert Bandura rejected the view that learning is passive. Instead he emphasized the importance of the active use of learning strategies. Today, Bandura’s legacy lives on, and has been extended in exciting new directions.
Grounded in Bandura’s pioneering research, in 1986 Barry Zimmerman and Martinez Pons published a paper that helped spur an entire new field of study on self-regulated learning strategies. Zimmerman and Pons interviewed 40 tenth-grade students who were on a “high achievement track” and compared their responses against those of 40 tenth-graders who were in “lower achievement tracks.” Specifically, they asked the students about the learning strategies they used to participate in class, study, and complete their assignments. Through the course of their interviews, they identified fourteen self-regulated learning strategies. They found that the high-achieving students differed from the low-achieving students in regard to whether they used these strategies, how much they used the strategies, and their consistency in using the strategies.
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