Action-research done and dusted and I got my application approved for Experienced Teacher accreditation today! It’s been a looooong and arduous journey. My blog hasn’t kept up with it though I did have one at the start, then the middle-ish, and now the end.

Data analysis confirmed what I intuited and shared in the second post, i.e. systematic integration of self-regulation processes really does impact student well-being. It could be positive as well as negative. Interestingly, student self-report data was inclusive. Teacher observation data confirmed it but there’s the observer-expectancy effect niggling at the background. Triangulation using student performance tasks (there were 3) helped.

I was going to blog more about details but this late in the piece, I’m literally over it. Instead, I want to note down for future reference what I plan to integrate into my teaching practice from next year.

Self-regulation practices

Teach students about self-regulation. I will use Barry Zimmerman’s SR learning model just like I did in my action-research. This means giving them a framework, conceptual understanding (and eventually appreciation), as well as the language of self-regulation.


Set distal goals at the start of the year and revisit each term. Since we have a strong effort  (with personal and social aspects) and achievement narrative at school, I’ll most likely get students to set goals for these two at least.

I want this noted electronically so maybe in our LMS.

Set proximal goals at the start of the term and then again weekly. This practice will help re-focus on distal goals and the little steps to get there.

I’m happy to give students flexibility on this. They may use their school diary, own journal (I love my bullet journal system), or electronically.

Performance Monitoring

Retrieval Practice will be a regular activity at the start of the lesson. This worked so well in my project that I kept it going. I actually had a schedule of topics to allow for interleaving and spaced practice. Prompts required elaboration, dual coding, concrete examples or pure recall. (Check out these learning strategies from learningscientists.org). I love Blake Harvard‘s method of colour-coding for retrieval practice and will definitely give it a go.

Track key measures at least once a week. I discovered trackers when I discovered bullet journals. Data collection could easily go crazy so I will have to think this through more carefully. It could be as simple as emojis for effort and achievement that lesson. I’m more interested in helping raise self-awareness as a premise for self-management and regulation, than the actual data.

Model proximal goal setting and monitoring using checklists for learning tasks and activities.


Reflect on (learning) process and product (learning outcome) at the end of each unit and/or task. I used Google Forms, OneDrive Forms, paper-based forms, and whole-class discussions for this. Our new LMS present new ways to do this, too.

Remind students regularly about the relationship between effort and achievement, and the notion of progress. Skilled self-regulators attribute achievement to personal effort; it’s getting naive self-regulators to do the same that’s really tricky. I found that it helped to point out their progress which means they’re on their way towards achievement.


Doing my action-research “forced” me to systematically integrate the self-regulation practices I wanted students to engage in.  Everyone got better at it and their achievement and well-being improved. Their last reflections were detailed and with appropriate attributions showing many have internalised the effort-achievement narrative. One particular student who was so anxious and owned up to being poor at reflection wrote 6 months later, “I no longer fear the future. …”

Hope is found in actions – belief that one’s effort will improve one’s future.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Gemma says:

    Congrats on the approval! I have loved watching your entire Exp Teacher journey and look forward to testing out some of the recommendations you’ve linked into the blog posts. I have no doubt you’ll do a long-term post a year or two from now with your continued learnings.

    • malyn says:

      Gemma!!!! Thank you for the kind words and you know I’ll blog at some stage. I can’t believe I haven’t done so for 6 months. But since I use my blog as a reference – I still even share my maths post from years ago – I know that it’s worth doing.

      If you do foray into the world of systematic integration of self-regulation processes (sounds lofty, hey?), please do let me know.

  2. Carlaleeb says:

    Hi Malyn
    Loved reading this . Our school has been in year one of a journey with principles of Visible Learning but for our context .
    We have been looking at how our collection and analysis of internal data can shape a learning framework for our school community . I have 3 years as a Coach ( relieved from my subject HT role but still a HT Learning ) to facilitate the project , built by our staff , for our students .
    Self regulation and characteristics of effective learning is one area of focus in 2018. We have already identified characteristics we value, looked at research evidence and have video diaries of our students feedback .
    Reflection is something we have been working on for a while , and for me personally , setting goals in the way that you have outlined is something that I have used in my classroom for quite a few years . I once did an action research project on reflection cross KLAs with Nigel Brito from DoE in a leadership course . I loved it and much of your findings resonate with why I did 🙂 and why I enjoyed reading your journey .
    There is much more I could write and share but I’ll stop there .
    Thank you 🙂 Look forward to hearing more

    • malyn says:

      Thanks for sharing Caralee! You might care to read the previous 2 posts; the start and middle were the hardest part for me!

      I had 3 major reasons why I did this particular research topic: (1) commitment to self-reg which I was already doing though not systematically, (2) curiosity about its effect on well-being and (3) challenge presented by school vision of ‘inspiring hope’.

      As my finding indicated that the effect on well-being could be negative, the next step was to find out how I could reverse the effect. As it turned out, continued integration of self-reg practices worked.

      I found, as in my previous project management consulting days, people struggled most with tracking and monitoring. Goal-setting/planning and self-reflection/evaluation were easier in comparison. Helping students do this was a major part of the project.

      Anyway, post as much as you want. I’m sure there are others who would love to hear what you’re doing too.

  3. Carlaleeb says:

    So much resonated too because I’ve spent the day working on our school plan, discussing much that is connected , with my Principal and colleagues from our other community high school ( we have a community of schools for PL) . I’ll be sure to catch up on your other posts .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *