, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 447-471

Self-regulation in Higher Education Teacher Learning

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Various studies have focused on self-regulated student learning. However, little attention has been given to the self-regulation processes in teacher learning. In this study, we focus on the work-related learning processes reported by experienced higher education teachers. The aim of this study was to discover whether teachers actively self-regulate their learning experiences (as their students are expected to do) and to examine how this regulation takes place in the workplace. We tested some generally held assumptions and conceptions regarding teacher learning. Fifteen experienced college teachers, from three different colleges in The Netherlands, participated. Two semi-structured interviews and a (digital) diary study were used as the primary data collection methods. We collected 86 examples of teacher learning episodes. These were analysed using a phenomenographic method. The results show that our teachers’ learning experiences are not as self-regulated, planned, reflective, or spiral as some assume. Sometimes, the teachers’ learning was planned (self-regulated), but mostly it occurred in a non-linear (both external and self-regulated) or spontaneous (externally regulated) way. We conclude that our teachers do not always self-regulate their learning, but they mostly do self-regulate their teaching practice (with learning as a result).