Planting the seed of a growth mindset may help cultivate the skill of self-regulated learning in students. Dr. Yves Karlen believes that with a knowledge of their growth potential, everyone can blossom into motivated, self-reflective, and lifelong learners:
“Mindsets about SRL are about encouraging students to become masters of their own learning and thinking.” (Dr. Karlen)
It was his experience as a schoolteacher that sparked Dr. Karlen’s passion for research in self-regulated learning and growth mindsets. His transition into the field of Educational Psychology didn’t sever his connections with teachers; in fact, it strengthened them. Collaborating with teachers allowed him to recognize commonly held misconceptions and inform gradual changes to practices that facilitate student growth. Dr. Karlen discovered early on in his studies that some students and teachers view the skill of self-regulated learning as innate and unchangeable. They believe some people are just better at self-regulating than others and they wonder whether it is worth teaching strategies to improve performance. In fact, persistence in the face of obstacles and the application of specific strategies can have a transformational effect on one’s ability to self-regulate their own learning. Dr. Karlen himself acknowledges that self-regulation can be a difficult and frustrating task (even for the experts!), but after practising strategies it can be mastered in a variety of contexts. For this reason, Dr. Karlen continues to promote the benefits of a growth mindset for self-regulated learning among students, teachers, and indeed his own research team.