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Individual and Social Influences on Socially Shared Strategic Processing

Figure 5.1 provides a high level overview of individual and social influences on socially shared strategic processing. Overall the framework suggests that learning emerges from a complex interplay between what students are bringing to a learning environment and the opportunities and constraints afforded by the contexts in which they are learning.

Individual Influences on Socially Shared Strategic Processing. In recognition of individual influences on learning, Figure 5.1 suggests that what learners bring to contexts influences their perceptions, interpretations, and appraisals of the learning environment and the demands within it (Boekaerts, 2011). These perceptions, interpretations, and appraisals in turn influence whether and how students choose to engage in learning on their own or with others.

Recognizing individual influences is important for understanding and supporting socially shared strategic processing. For example, what learners are bringing to contexts, such as their personal funds of knowledge (Barton & Hamilton, 2012; Moje, 2013; Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992) or socio-emotional competencies (e.g., Lee et al., 2015), can serve as affordances to their own and others’ collaborative learning processes. Strategic processing in collaborative contexts can also be enhanced if educators recognize and build on the wide range of experiences, strengths, challenges, knowledge (metacognitive, content-related), skills, and strategies that diverse learners bring to the classroom (e.g., Pushor, 2012). By supporting effective forms of strategic action, educators can, in turn, influence learners’ development of beliefs, conceptions, relationships, and identities that positively influence their engagement in subsequent forms of strategic learning (e.g., see Butler & Cartier, 2004; Kozleski & Waitoiler, 2010; McCaslin, 2009; Zimmerman, 2011).

When thinking about individual influences, it is particularly important to recognize that students’ prior culturally and socially situated experiences shape their understandings about how schools, classrooms, and learning work (Anyichie & Butler, 2018; McCaslin & Burrows, 2010; McInerney & King, 2018). Diverse learners’ success in classrooms can be undermined if their understanding about expectations or goals (i.e., their sense of purpose) does not match those of educators and/or peers. To support effective forms of strategic processing, educators need to ensure that all learners, whatever their backgrounds, are supported to discern how classrooms work (Perry et al., 2017). Beyond that, many researchers and educators are also arguing for the creation of culturally responsive environments which enable students to build from their cultural and linguistic backgrounds to inform their learning processes (e.g., Anyichie, 2018; Anyichie & Butler, 2018; Gay, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1995).

Social Influences on Socially Shared Strategic Processing. Our integrative model of SRL also identifies three layers of social influences on socially shared forms of strategic processing. At the broadest level, learning activity is historically, socially, and culturally situated. That broader context influences how norms, routines, and participation structures are constituted within learning environments (Leinhardt, Weidman, Hammond, 1987; Perry et al., in press). Finally, within learning environments, pedagogical practices provide different kinds of opportunities and supports for strategic processing. Supporting strategic processing requires attending to the influence of these multiple layers of contexts in which learning is invariably situated. Given our focus in this chapter on socially shared strategic processing, pedagogical practices that are particularly influential include (a) activities that are created to invite/require collaboration and со-learning; (b) supports that help students learn how to participate effectively in activities alone and with others; and (c) formative assessment and feedback activities that invite teachers and learners to think and learn collaboratively (Heritage, 2018; Hickey et al., 2002; Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick, 2006).

How individuals engage with others creates a key social influence on learning. SRL literature has shown that productive forms of collaborative activity emerge when students engage in cycles of strategic action together (Butler & Schnellert, 2012). Strategic processing with others involves purposeful thinking and action that is negotiated in context (Kaplan et al., 2010). Building from SRL and formative assessment literatures (e.g., Butler et al., 2017; Hattie &Timperley, 2007; Heritage, 2018), our integrative model highlights key questions that strategically oriented learners need to ask themselves as they work through strategic action cycles alone and/or together (see Figure 5.1).

Many contemporary SRL researchers have studied how students regulate learning together within collaborative activities (i.e., how they engage in cycles of strategic action together). Their research has identified the complexity of “regulation” in collaborative forms of learning. For example, findings have been that individuals engage dynamically in both self- and social forms of regulation within a collaborative task (Hadwin et al., 2018; Hadwin & Oshige, 2011; Volet et al., 2009). Further, social forms of regulation can include dynamically evolving combinations of both co-regulation and socially shared regulation.

Co-regulation is typically associated with a more knowledgeable person providing instrumental support for another person’s self-regulated engagement within the context of an activity (e.g., a teacher facilitating a student to think through a problem strategically). Co-regulation can involve influences from teacher to student, student to teacher, and peer to peer (Hadwin et al., 2018; Volet et al., 2009). Research on coregulation has identified how educators and students can support each others learning through cycles of strategic action (e.g., creating a sense of purpose; planning; choosing and enacting strategies; monitoring; adjusting). Findings have shown that one way to support socially shared strategic processing is for teachers to create conditions for themselves or peers to co-regulate a learners participation (e.g., by asking metacogni-tive questions that spur a students thinking about the questions embedded in Figure 5.1; by offering constructive feedback).

Hadwin et al. (2018) defined socially shared regulation as “a groups deliberate, strategic, and transactive planning, task enactment, reflection, and adaption” (p. 86). When sharing regulation within collaborative forms of learning, individuals engage in transactive exchanges through which they negotiate meaning, learning processes, and relationships. When engaged in rich forms of socially shared regulation, diverse learners can add their various points of view to co-construct a richer sense of purpose and work iteratively, flexibly, and dynamically through cycles of strategic action together (e.g., taking up the “we” version of the questions in Figure 5.1). Thus, another way in which educators can support social forms of strategic processing is by creating conditions for peers to learn how to engage in productive forms of socially shared regulation with others.

Pulling It All Together. In sum, in this section, we introduced an integrative, situated model of SRL. We built from that framework to define strategic processing as encompassing iterative cycles of strategic action. We also identified how contemporary SRL researchers have characterized socially shared strategic processing as dynamically interacting forms of self- and social regulation (e.g., co-regulation; socially shared regulation). Building on our SRL model, we identified that understanding and supporting strategic processing requires recognizing how individual and social processes intertwine to shape learners’ engagement. On the one hand, students bring to contexts a diversity of experiences (e.g., personal, academic), funds of knowledge (e.g., cultural, content, metacognitive), beliefs (e.g., agency), and conceptions (e.g., about academic work) that shape their interpretations of and choices about how to engage in classroom-based activities. On the other, contexts define norms, discourses, and expectations that students need to discern and respond to generatively. To participate successfully in socially shared strategic processing, learners need to know how to build from their personal resources to interpret demands and navigate not just the requirements of academic tasks but also the expectations of how to learn within socially and culturally situated classrooms.

In the rest of this chapter, we build on this framework to consider further what educators can do to support socially shared forms of strategic processing. To begin, we identify foundational approaches educators can take up to empower learners to navigate classrooms. Next, we draw across literatures to distill principles and practices for supporting social forms of strategic learning. Finally, we identify whether and how those principles and practices are, or could be, brought to life to foster socially shared strategic processing within a variety of increasingly common collaborative learning frameworks (e.g., collaborative learning; computer assisted collaborative learning).

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