Play is not a waste of time or just for fun. According to Dr. Baker, play offers children the opportunity to practice sophisticated forms of thinking, such as making plans and decisions, adapting to new circumstances, and problem-solving.
“Play is a really useful context for developing self-regulation in young children” – Dr. Baker
Dr. Baker was drawn to study SRL through her original interest in executive functions – a set of mental skills, such as working memory and impulse control, that students use to plan, focus, and follow directions. As Sara started working more with teachers in classrooms, she realized that SRL offered students an opportunity to develop a more overarching set of skills that could help them achieve in school and life. Dr. Baker views SRL as a major difference-maker that teachers can use in their classrooms to help students achieve their own goals and become successful.
“My research ultimately aims to empower educators and learners to make decisions based on
goals that are meaningful to them” – Dr. Baker