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Life-Worthy Learning Skills: A Curriculum Intervention to Promote Self-Regulated Learning



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Turner, Gavin 


Taking the form of a portfolio of papers written across my six-year research journey, this professional doctoral thesis presents the findings of a discipline-independent curriculum intervention designed to improve students’ self-regulated learning skills. The study also examines the relationship between students’ self-regulated learning skills and their academic achievement. Research suggests that discipline-independent training interventions improve students’ self-regulated learning skills, also having a major impact on students’ academic achievement across childhood and adolescence. Founded on Zimmerman's (2000) cyclic model of self-regulated learning, the 10-week discipline-independent intervention underpinning this research was designed and implemented to support the development of Year 9 (13-14 year old) students’ self-regulated learning skills. Following a pre-test post-test non-equivalent group design, participants were divided into two groups by way of purposeful sampling, with each group receiving the training intervention consecutively during the academic year 2017/18. Data was collected at three timepoints (before the start of Phase 1, at the end of Phase 1, and at the end of Phase 2) using the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) and an original and tailored instrument created specifically for this research; the Self-Regulated Learning Experimental Design Survey (SRLEDS). Forming a significant contribution to the field, this instrument was validated using the MSLQ. Results show that although students’ self-regulated learning skills and academic achievement improved across timepoint, there were not any significant differences between group and nor did students’ self-regulated learning skills predict their level of academic achievement. In light of this, the discussion focuses on providing context to these results, exploring local changes within the research setting that account for the findings before outlining the implications of this study for both research and practice. In addition to the development and validation of the SRLEDS, this study also contributes to the fields of research and practice by offering a critical reflection on the challenges of using control groups within a live school research setting. In response to this, an alternative research design is proposed as well as a range of future research directions, with implications for practice highlighted and discussed.





Ellefson, Michelle


self-regulated learning, curriculum intervention


Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge