Chinese High-School Students in Physics Classroom as Active, Self-Regulated Learners: Cognitive, Motivational and Environmental Aspects

  • Heinz NeberEmail author
  • Jing He
  • Bang-Xiang Liu
  • Neville Schofield


The present study investigates whether Chinese high-school students are self-regulated learners. A social-cognitive model that distinguishes environmental, motivational, and cognitive components of this active approach to learning is described. This provides an appropriate framework for investigating this complex issue with eighth and tenth graders attending a high-school in Beijing. By contrasting components of self-regulated learning and components indicating a more passive approach to learning that were both measured with self-report instruments, it could be shown that these students may indeed be considered as self-regulated physics learners. Comparisons of the grade levels revealed that tenth graders are not more active in self-regulating their learning processes than are eighth graders, and that they might even experience a motivational decline in learning physics. The same applies to girls versus boys. The physics-related self-efficacy belief of girls turned out to be considerably lower than with boys, a result that corresponds to findings with students from Western nations. Finally, assumptions about the causal role of motivational factors for using self-regulatory strategies could be confirmed. Possible consequences for further fostering self-regulated learning in physics instruction are discussed.

Key words

cross-cultural differences gender differences physics learning  self-regulated learning 


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Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Neber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jing He
    • 2
  • Bang-Xiang Liu
    • 3
  • Neville Schofield
    • 4
  1. 1.Psychology of ExcellenceUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.BNU (International Department)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.The University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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