Educational Psychology Review

, 20:477 | Cite as

Clarifying Metacognition, Self-Regulation, and Self-Regulated Learning: What’s the Purpose?

  • Avi KaplanEmail author


In this commentary on the special issue, I join the authors in searching for a conceptual framework that would clarify the concepts of metacognition, self-regulation, and self-regulated learning. Building on the insights of the different articles, I suggest that metacognition, self-regulation, and self-regulated learning should be considered as subtypes of the general, abstract, phenomenon of self-regulated action. I continue by questioning the benefit of seeking boundaries between these three concepts. Instead, I propose to search for dimensions along which types of self-regulated action vary. I, then, introduce the notion of a “multidimensional conceptual space of self-regulated action” as a conceptual tool that allows for diversity of conceptions of self-regulated action while maintaining conceptual clarity. I conclude by highlighting the central role of purpose of engagement in self-regulated action and by noting its potential for guiding the search for meaningful dimensions on which to typify self-regulation.


Metacognition Self-regulation Self-regulated learning Motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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