PuS-SeL – Problem solving and Strategies – Self-regulation of Learning

The PuS-SeL project investigates components, influence factors and approaches to promote self-regulation of learning among primary school children.

Project Description

Self-regulation describes the ability to set goals independently, motivate onself to work on them, to select and use adequate learning strategies and, finally, to reflect on one’s learning process. In particular in school, and, especially, during independent learning at home, pupils are reliant on the use of self-regulation strategies. As learning strategies establish already in early childhood, it is particularly important to promote self-regulation already in young children. The PuS-SeL project focuses on different components of self-regulation of learning among primary school children, and factors that affect children’s use of self-regulation strategies. Based on these findings, approaches for the promotion of self-regulation of learning in primary school are being investigated. The research project comprises several sub-studies. In a first study, we examine the role of individual prerequisites (such as self-efficacy, cognitive and motivational processes, and strategy knowledge) as well as contextual factors (such as parents’ and teachers’ support of self-regulation) on students’ self-regulation of learning. Furthermore, we will test, by means of video-based training and instruction videos, how students can learn to use self-regulation strategies in play-based learning environments through model learning, and whether they transfer this onto academic learning situations. Moreover, we will investigate the effectiveness of mere model observation compared to implicit and explicit strategy instruction.

Project Objectives

The following objectives are pursued within the research project:

  • Development and testing of instruments for the assessment of cognitive, metacognitive and motivational characteristics of self-regulation of learning among primary school pupils
  • Description and analysis of interrelationships of individual and context factors affecting the use of self-regulation strategies during play-based problem solving tasks and school tasks
  • Investigating the effectiveness of implicit and explicit promotion of self-regulation strategies


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  • Donker-Bergstra, A., De Boer, H., Kostos, D., Dignath, C. & van der Werf, G. (2014). Effectiveness of learning strategy instruction on academic performance: a meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 11, 1-26.
  • Dignath, C., Büttner, G. & Langfeldt, H.-P. (2008). How can primary school students acquire self-regulated learning most efficiently? A meta-analysis on interventions that aim at fostering self-regulation. Educational Research Review, 3, 101-129.

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Charlotte Dignath

Project Team

Bernadette van Berk

Project Details

Current projects
04/2020 – 03/2023
External funding
Research topic: Differential Educational Conditions and Educational Trajectories
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality

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