Whose Fault Is It? Are Students in Control of Their Own Learning? | Toby Elmore | 2 Min Read

Might there be a way to identify those students who need extra help before the proverbial “you know what” hits the fan? Wouldn’t it be great to engage our students in meaningful meta-cognitive processes from the very beginning of the year?

While learning theories are not often at the top of teacher’s minds at the start of a school year (though some might argue that they should be), concrete and actionable practices that help students consider their own learning processes can be helpful. What if I told you that there was a tool we could provide to our students that would identify the degree to which they feel in control of their learning environment? What if I told you that research has pointed to the fact that a particular orientation helps predict student learning and achievement.

Locus of control is an aspect of motivational theory that proposes every individual exists along a continuum of believing that they are either in control of their environment (internal) or lack control over their environment (external). When we talk about locus of control, it is important to include the word “perceived” as a qualifier. This is because much of a learner’s understanding of…

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Toby Elmore

Toby Elmore is studying at the University of San Francisco School of Education.