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Education Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 741713, 10 pages
Research Article

What Teachers Think about Self-Regulated Learning: Investigating Teacher Beliefs and Teacher Behavior of Enhancing Students’ Self-Regulation

1Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, A 5, 6, 68131 Mannheim, Germany
2Institute for Educational Research (GION), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 3, 9712 TG Groningen, The Netherlands

Received 31 May 2012; Revised 16 August 2012; Accepted 20 August 2012

Academic Editor: Annemie Desoete

Copyright © 2012 Charlotte Dignath-van Ewijk and Greetje van der Werf. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to foster self-regulated learning (SRL), teachers should provide students with learning strategies, as well as with constructivist learning environments that allow them to self-regulate their learning. These two components complement each other. When investigating teachers’ promotion of SRL, not only teacher behavior, but also teachers’ beliefs as well as their knowledge about SRL are relevant aspects to consider. Therefore, this study seeks to examine teachers’ knowledge and beliefs on promoting SRL, as well as their predictive value on teachers’ promotion of SRL in the classroom. Forty-seven primary school teachers completed questionnaires on knowledge and beliefs towards both components of the promotion of SRL: strategy instruction and a constructivist learning environment. In addition, teachers had to answer open-ended questions on their understanding of SRL, as well as their implementation of SRL in their classroom. The results show that teachers are more positive towards constructivist than towards SRL (teacher beliefs), and most teachers mentioned characteristics of constructivist learning environments, while only few teachers addressed strategy instruction when being asked about their understanding of SRL (teacher knowledge). Moreover, teacher beliefs are the only predictor for teacher behavior. The results indicate how teacher education could support teachers to learn how to promote SRL effectively.