The Weave of Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning
An analysis of self-regulated learning (SRL) and motivation is at once simple and intensely complicated. It is simple because everything a student does can be said to be motivated. Without motivation, except for reﬂexive behavior like the eye blink reﬂex, there is no behavior, including SRL. Beneath this simplicity, however, is a complex weave of students’ knowledge, feedback they create and feedback they receive, and thoughts about whether they and the environment in which they learn might be different from the way it is now. To untangle this weave, we begin by describing our view of SRL. Next, we dissect what a task is and set a stage for then considering how to distinguish “just behaving” from self-regulating learning. With these three cornerstones in place, we can set out our view of motivation to create a foundation for discussing how SRL and motivation intersect. Standing on this foundation, we review representative research that speaks to how SRL and motivation interlink. Throughout, we track Isabelle as she navigates a mathematics problem. We conclude with observations about where research is lacking and what could be contributed by new research on this topic.