Young Children's Self-Regulated Learning and Supportive Teacher-Child Interactions: An Exploratory Study




Daily, Sarah

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An individual's ability to engage in self-regulated learning (SRL) is associated with positive self-beliefs and academic achievement. Yet research suggests that very young children are not capable of engaging in SRL. The purpose of this study was to examine the emergence of young children's self-regulated learning behaviors and identify practices teachers may utilize to support SRL development. Two preschool teachers in a child care center and the 43 four-year-old children in their classrooms participated in this study. Children, teachers, and teacher-child interactions were videotaped. Data were analyzed three ways: using open coding, the Cambridgeshire Independent Learning coding scheme, and the Classroom Assessment and Scoring System. The results of this exploratory study suggest that preschool-aged children are capable of engaging in SRL, though aspects of goal-setting and self-reflection were less evident. In addition, the teachers in this study primarily assisted children with task completion and rarely engaged young children in a way that supported their engagement in SRL. Expanding our understanding of how preschool teachers can foster SRL may help support young children in taking an active role in their own learning at an earlier age. Educational implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.



Educational psychology, Early childhood education, Early childhood, Preschool, School readiness, Self-regulated learning, Teacher-child interactions