Exploring a whole-school integrated approach to developing students' self-regulated learning (SRL) skills

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The thesis explores how secondary schools can embrace a whole-school integrated approach to helping students develop self-regulated learning (SRL) skills. In addition to investigating how a sample of Australian secondary schools currently approach SRL skills development, the study also examines teachers’, students’ and parents’ perceptions of who is responsible for SRL skills development and perceptions of the impact of technology on students’ SRL skills. Following an initial online survey of 54 Australian secondary schools in the Sydney region, the study used purposive sampling to select a best practice case school for detailed investigation. The case school demonstrated strong evidence of a systematic whole-school approach to developing students’ SRL skills. To obtain multiple perceptions and to verify interpretations, case school data was collected through semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and document gathering. Qualitative analysis produced a rich, contextualised description of the case school, supported by insights from the quantitative data. The study’s findings highlight the need for schools to determine with stakeholders the roles parents, teachers and students can play in assisting students to develop SRL skills. The data indicates that to support all stakeholders in their roles, schools need to provide appropriate training. Findings also reveal that while students and parents were generally positive about the role of technology as a support for self-regulation, particularly as a research tool, technology can be a major distraction for many students. This finding suggests that educators need to provide students and parents with strategies to optimise the use of technology as a learning tool and minimise its potentially distracting influence on students’ self-regulation. The research concludes by proposing guidelines that will assist schools, policy-makers and researchers to implement and further explore a whole-school approach to developing students as self-regulated learners. The study also suggests future directions for researchers.
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