In the eyes of a young child, parents are teachers too; parents’ interests in seeing their children become successful can be harnessed to foster opportunities for their children’s development of self-regulation for lifelong learning. As a parent herself, Dr. Lynda Hutchinson believes that young children’s self-regulation for learning can be fostered through enhanced dialogue between parents and teachers to discuss common ground, goals, and effective strategies for supporting self-regulation at home and in school.
“Parents are a rich source of information; they have a history with their children that spans multiple contexts. They have knowledge of the strengths and challenges that their children have had with self-regulation over their entire lifespan”- Dr. Hutchinson
Dr. Hutchinson’s interest in the power of self-regulation for learning was sparked by the growth she witnessed in her young students as a diving instructor almost 30 years ago. Since then, her teaching, parenting, and research experiences have motivated her to pursue an understanding of how children learn to assess challenges and adapt to life contexts with effective learning strategies. Self regulation develops gradually over time and requires patience, manifesting differently for every child. Despite common beliefs, Dr. Hutchinson’s research demonstrates that with support from their loved ones, young kids are remarkably capable of self-regulation in contexts that foster opportunities for it using familiar routines and structures. These observations have led Dr. Hutchinson to focus her research on making parents and teachers meaningful partners in promoting self regulated learning at home and in school for success in life. Her studies involve identifying parenting strategies that ease the challenges of raising young children while revealing the impacts of parental stress on children’s development and learning. Dr. Hutchinson aims to support parents to promote self-regulation for learning across contexts, and to generate rewarding experiences for parents which are also vital for their children’s development.