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Dynamic Self-Regulation: The Driving Force Behind Academic Achievement

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Research has shown that the most successful students are those who have a propensity to control their own effort to learn. They take personal responsibility for regulating the way in which they approach their studies. Traditionally, it was believed that such self-regulation occurred only through the practice of active, deliberate learning strategies. This study explores an expanded conception of self-regulated learning, one that includes not only the active, strategic control but an internally driven or dynamic disposition to learn as well. Its findings suggest that the natural dynamic component, reflecting qualities such as curiosity, enthusiasm, willingness to take risks, and persistence, actually underlies and drives the strategic behavior. Whether these dynamic qualities can be taught, just as active self-regulation, remains a question. In this study where dynamic qualities were valued highly and the environment was supportive and expressive of a culture of learning, initial findings demonstrated that a sizable portion of students who were low dynamic at pre course changed to high dynamic by post course.

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Schapiro, S.R., Livingston, J.A. Dynamic Self-Regulation: The Driving Force Behind Academic Achievement. Innovative Higher Education 25, 23–35 (2000).

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