Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 231–264 | Cite as

Components of fostering self-regulated learning among students. A meta-analysis on intervention studies at primary and secondary school level

  • Charlotte DignathEmail author
  • Gerhard Büttner


Due to new standards in fostering life-long learning at school, research has increasingly dealt with the promotion of self-regulated learning, resulting in a large number of intervention studies conducted at primary and secondary school. The current study aimed at investigating the impact of various training characteristics on the training outcomes, regarding academic performance, strategy use and motivation of students. Two meta-analyses were conducted separately, one for primary and one for secondary school level to allow for comparisons between both school levels. The meta-analyses included 49 studies conducted with primary school students and 35 studies conducted with secondary school students; analyzing 357 effect sizes altogether. The potential effects of training characteristics were investigated by means of meta-analytic multiple regression analyses. The average effect size was 0.69. For both school levels, effect sizes were higher when the training was conducted by researchers instead of regular teachers. Moreover, interventions attained higher effects when conducted in the scope of mathematics than in reading/writing or other subjects. Self-regulated learning can be fostered effectively at both primary and secondary school level. However, the theoretical background on which the training programme is based, as well as the type of instructed strategy led to differential effects at both school levels.


Meta-analysis Review Self-regulated learning Metacognition Strategy training Primary school Secondary school 



We are grateful to the editor, as well as to the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments. Moreover, we thank Hans-Peter Langfeldt for his helpful remarks on an earlier draft of this article. Furthermore, we appreciated the competent statistical advice of Reyn van Ewijk very much. Finally, we thank the student assistants Adriana Oppitz, Valentina Tesky and Sarah Müller for their support with coding the studies together with the first author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MuensterInstitute of Psychology VMuensterGermany
  2. 2.J.W. Goethe University of Frankfurt/ MainFrankfurt/ MainGermany

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