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Self-Regulated Learning as a Method to Develop Scientific Thinking

Self-Regulated Learning as a Method to Develop Scientific Thinking
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Author(s): Erin E. Peters Burton (George Mason University, USA)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 26
Source title: STEM Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7363-2.ch064

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Abstract

The development of skills and the rationale behind scientific thinking has been a major goal of science education. Research has shown merit in teaching the nature of science explicitly and reflectively. In this chapter, the authors discuss how research in a self-regulated learning theory has furthered this finding. Self-regulation frames student learning as cycling through three phases: forethought (cognitive processes that prepare the learner for learning such as goal setting), performance (employment of strategies and self-monitoring of progress), and self-reflection (evaluation of performance with the goal). Because students have little interaction with the inherent guidelines that drive the scientific enterprise, setting goals toward more sophisticated scientific thinking is difficult for them. However, teachers can help students set goals for scientific thinking by being explicit about how scientists and science function. In this way, teachers also explicitly set a standard against which students can self-monitor their performance during the learning and self-evaluate their success after the learning. In addition to summarizing the research on learning and teaching of self-regulation and scientific thinking, this chapter offers recommendations to reform science teaching from the field of educational psychology.

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