Motivating self-regulated learning in technology education

  • Moshe BarakEmail author


This paper proposes a compensative model for self-regulated learning in technology education (SRLT) comprised of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational domains. Discussion of the cognitive domain centers on problem-solving and creativity, with a focus on the need to engage students in open-ended assignments in informal contexts and to teach them a repertoire of methods, strategies and heuristics for inventive design and problem-solving, rather than letting them search randomly for ideas or use the trial-and-error method. The notion of metacognition deals with peoples’ ability to be aware of and control their own thinking, for example, how they selects their learning goals, use prior knowledge or intentionally choose problem-solving strategies. Self-regulatory behaviour is highly correlated with an individual’s motivation to handle challenging assignments, and with his or her internal satisfaction from being engaged in a task that contributes more to creativity than to receiving external rewards. Another important factor is an individuals’ self-efficacy belief in their ability to handle a highly demanding assignment determined by previous positive experience in similar tasks and the existence of a supportive social and emotional environment. The SRLT model highlights the interrelationships between the cognitive, metacognitive and motivational aspects of learning, problem-solving and invention. For example, teaching students problem-solving strategies could help them accomplish a task, improve their ability to monitor their own thinking and reflect on their learning, and enhance their self-efficacy beliefs about problem-solving and creativity. The teachers’ role in promoting SRLT education and directions for further research are also discussed.


Cognition Metacognition Motivation Self-regulated learning Technology education 


  1. Altshuler, G. S. (1988). Creativity as an exact science. New York: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  2. Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  3. Azevedo, R. (2005). Computer environments as metacognitive tools for enhancing learning. Educational Psychologist, 40(4), 193–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: WH Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  5. Barak, M. (2004). Issues involved in attempting to develop independent learning in pupils working on technological projects. Research in Science and Technological Education, 22(2), 171–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barak, M. (2007). Problem-solving in technological context: The role of strategies, schemes and heuristics. In D. Barlex (Ed.), Design and technology for the next generation (pp. 154–160). Whitchurch, UK: Cliffeco Communications.Google Scholar
  7. Barak, M. (2009). Idea focusing versus idea generating: A course for teachers on inventive problem-solving. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 4 (in press).Google Scholar
  8. Barak, M., & Goffer, N. (2002). Fostering systematic innovation thinking and problem solving: Lessons education can learn from industry. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 12(3), 227–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barak, M., & Mesika, P. (2007). Teaching methods for inventive problem-solving in junior high school. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2(1), 19–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barak, M., & Shachar, A. (2008). Project in technology and fostering learning skills: The potential and its realization. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 17(3), 285–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Barak, M., & Williams, P. (2007). Learning elemental structures and dynamic processes in technological systems. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 17(3), 323–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bergin, S., Reilly, R., & Traynor, D. (2005). Examining the role of self-regulated learning on introductory programming performance. In Proceedings of the International Workshop on Computing Education Research (pp. 81–86). Seattle, New York: ACM.Google Scholar
  13. Berne, R. W., & Raviv, D. (2004). Eight-dimensional methodology for innovative thinking about the case and ethics of the Mount Graham, Large Binocular Telescope Project. Science and Engineering Ethics, 10(2), 235–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palinscar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational Psychologist, 26(3 & 4), 369–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boden, M. A. (2004). The creative mind: Myths and mechanisms. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  16. Boekaerts, M. (1999). Self-regulated learning: Where we are today. International Journal of Educational Research, 31(6), 445–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Borko, H., & Putnam, R. T. (1996). Learning to teach. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 673–708). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.Google Scholar
  19. Bruner, J. (1977). The process of education. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Butler, D. L., & Winne, P. H. (1995). Feedback and self-regulated learning: A theoretical synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 65(3), 245–281.Google Scholar
  21. Cleary, T. J., Zimmerman, B. J., & Keating, T. (2006). Training physical education students to self-regulate during basketball free-throw practice. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77(2), 251–262.Google Scholar
  22. Collins, M. A., & Amabile, T. M. (1999). Early views on motivation and creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 297–312). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. De Bono, E. (1992). Serious creativity: Using the power of lateral thinking to create new ideas. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  24. De Miranda, M. A., & Folkestad, J. E. (2000). Linking cognitive science theory and technology education practice: A powerful connection not fully realized. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 37(4), 5–23.Google Scholar
  25. De Vries, M. J. (2005). Teaching about technology: An introduction to the philosophy of technology for non-philosophers. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. De Vries, M., Custer, R., Dakers, J., & Gene, M. (Eds.). (2007). Analyzing best practice in technology education. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.Google Scholar
  27. Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  28. Dewey, J. (1933). How we think (2nd ed.). New York: D.C. Heath.Google Scholar
  29. Eberle, B. F. (1977). Scamper. Buffalo, New York: D.O.K. Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Feldhusen, J. F. (1995). Creativity: A knowledge base, metacognitive skills and personality factors. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 29(4), 255–268.Google Scholar
  31. Flavell, J. H. (1979). Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive-developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 34(10), 906–911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Flavell, J. (1999). Cognitive development: Children’s knowledge about the mind. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 21–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Goldenberg, J., & Mazurski, D. (2002). Creativity in product innovation. London: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Guilford, J. P. (1967). The measure of human intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  35. Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  36. Harel, I., & Papert, S. (Eds.). (1991). Constructionism. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  37. Harris, C. E., Pritchard, M. S., & Rabins, M. J. (2000). Engineering ethics, concepts and cases. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  38. Hill, A. M. (2007). Motivational aspects. In M. De Vries, R. Custer, J. Dakers, & M. Gene (Eds.), Analyzing best practice in technology education (pp. 203–211). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Horowitz, R., & Maimon, O. (1997). Creative design methodology and the SIT method. In Proceedings of DETC’97: ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference, September 14–17, Sacramento, California.Google Scholar
  40. Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT.Google Scholar
  41. Johnson, S. D. (1997). Learning technological concepts and developing intellectual skills. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 7(1–2), 161–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jonassen, D., & Reeves, T. (1996). Learning with technology: Using computers as cognitive tools. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 694–719). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  43. Lajoie, S. P., & Derry, S. J. (Eds.). (1993). Computers as cognitive tools. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  44. Leontiev, A. N. (1978). Activity, consciousness, and personality. Hillsdale: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  45. Lewis, T. (2009). Creativity in technology education: Providing children with glimpses of their inventive potential. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(3), 255–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lewis, T., & Petrina, H. A. M. (1998). Problem posing–adding a creative increment to technological problem solving. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 36(1), 5–35.Google Scholar
  47. McCormick, R. (1997). Conceptual and procedural knowledge. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 7(1–2), 141–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McCormick, R. (2004). Issues of learning and knowledge in technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Middleton, H. (2005). Creative thinking, values and design and technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 15(1), 61–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nickerson, R. S. (1999). Enhancing creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 392–430). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Norman, D. A. (1990). Cognitive artifacts. La Jolla, CA: Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego.Google Scholar
  52. Pajares, F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307–332.Google Scholar
  53. Pajares, F., & Schunk, D. (2001). Self-beliefs and school success: Self-efficacy, self-concept and school achievement. In R. Riding & S. Rayner (Eds.), Perception (pp. 239–266). London: JAI press.Google Scholar
  54. Panaoura, A., & Philippou, G. (2007). The developmental change of young pupils’ metacognitive ability in mathematics in relation to their cognitive abilities. Cognitive Development, 22(2), 149–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Petrina, S., Feng, F., & Kim, J. (2008). Researching cognition and technology: How we learn across the lifespan. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 18(4), 375–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pintrich, P. R. (2002). The role of metacognitive knowledge in learning, teaching, and assessing. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 219–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Salomon, G. (Ed.). (1993). Distributed cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Schön, D. A. (1996). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.Google Scholar
  60. Schraw, G., Crippen, K. J., & Hartley, K. (2006). Promoting self-regulation in science education: Metacognition as part of a broader perspective on learning. Research in Science Education, 36(1–2), 111–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.Google Scholar
  62. Skinner, B. F. (1973). Beyond freedom and dignity. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  63. Soegaard, M. (1985). Heuristics and heuristic evaluation. In The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. USA: Penguin.Google Scholar
  64. Sternberg, R. J. (1988). A three-fact model of creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), The nature of creativity (pp. 125–147). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  65. Sternberg, R. J. (1999). Handbook of creativity. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. I. (1996). Investing in creativity. American Psychologist, 51, 677–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Stevenson, J. (2004). Developing technological knowledge. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14(3), 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Thomas, J. W. (2000). A review of research on project-based learning. Autodesk, San Rafael, CA. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from
  69. Thorndike, E. L. (1913). Educational psychology, Vol. 1: The original nature of man. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  70. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  71. Watson, J. B. (1913). Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill Co.Google Scholar
  72. Wiener, N. (1948). Cybernetics, or control and communication in the animal and the machine. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  73. Williams, P. J. (2000). Design: The only methodology of technology? Journal of Technology Education, 11(2), 48–60.Google Scholar
  74. Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 13–39). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zimmerman, B. J. (2008). Investigating self-regulation and motivation: Historical background, methodological developments, and future prospects. American Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 166–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zimmerman, B. J., Bandura, A., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1992). Self-motivation for academic attainment: The role of self-efficacy beliefs and personal goal setting. American Educational Research Journal, 29(3), 663–676.Google Scholar
  77. Zimmerman, B. J., Bonner, S., & Kovach, R. (1996). Developing self-regulated learners: Beyond achievement to self-efficacy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zimmerman, B. J., & Campillo, M. (2003). Motivating self-regulated problem solvers. In J. E. Davidson & R. Sternberg (Eds.), The nature of problem solving (pp. 233–262). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  79. Zimmerman, B. J., & Schunk, D. H. (1989). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  80. Zohar, A. (1999). Teachers’ metacognitive knowledge and the instruction of higher-order thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(4), 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Zohar, A. (2006). The nature and development of teachers’ metastrategic knowledge in the context of teaching higher-order thinking. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(3), 331–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zuga, K. F. (2004). Improving technology education research on cognition. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14(1), 79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science and Technology EducationBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

Personalised recommendations