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Models of SRL

From the definitions of SRL, we could see that motivational regulation is an important process of SRL. The theories and models of SRL have also tried to identify the processes of self-regulation with the emphasis on all the cognitive, motivational and behavioral aspects. Zimmerman (1989) introduced six prominent theoretical perspectives on SRL: operant, phenomenological, social cognitive, volitional, Vygotskian, and cognitive constructivist approaches. This study employs a social-cognitive learning theory approach to SRL. This section includes social cognitive learning theory and two models of SRL based on the theory.

Social Cognitive Learning Theory

Bandura’s (1977a) original model of social cognitive learning theory focuses on the interplay of both social and cognitive elements in understanding human behavior. Bandura based his work on the assumption that

“if actions were determined solely by external rewards and punishments, people would behave like weather vanes...” (Bandura, 1977b, p.27). Bandura maintains that individuals are able to exert some control over their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through a self-system. This system allows self-regulation, self-reflection, and learning.

According to Bandura (1977b, 1986a, 1986b), an individual is neither a passive reactor nor driven solely by internal cognitions. The dynamic relationships between individual, behavior, and environment create an individual who is both the agent and the object of his world. This concept, known as the triadic model of reciprocity, is the cornerstone of Bandura’s work. According to this triadic model, personal, behavioral, and environmental events are viewed as separable yet interdependent sources of influence in analysis of human functioning. In this model, the individual plays an active role in shaping his own actions through belief systems and cognitive capacities. The second facet of the triadic model is the role of behavior in providing feedback and skills that can mold future actions. The third aspect of the model involves environmental factors such as luck and cultural influences. These factors can affect individual and behavioral characteristics. Thus, the reciprocal determinism at play within the triadic model allows the individual a freedom to act, shaped by external constraints and by his own willingness to act.

Bandura’s (1986a, 1986b) social cognitive learning theory asserts that people have self-regulatory mechanisms that contribute to the triadic system and allow for self-directed behavior. Three subprocesses influence these mechanisms: self-observation, self-judgment, and self-reaction. These performance-related subprocesses are assumed to interact with each other in a reciprocal fashion. The reciprocity of these subprocesses occurs via a three-phase cycle of forethought, performance, and self-reflection.

We could see that social cognitive learning theory provides a dynamic view of self-regulation processes. This book highlights two models of SRL based on social cognitive learning theory. One model is Zimmerman’s social cognitive model of SRL, which is based on Bandura’s (1986a, 1986b) social cognitive learning theory. The other is Pintrich’s general framework of SRL, which also derives mainly from the social cognitive approach. Based on the social cognitive tradition, the two models define SRL as a goal-oriented process, proceeding from a forethought phase through self-monitoring and self-control to self-reflection.

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