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"If Only They Would Do Their Homework:" Promoting Self-Regulation in High School English Classes

This study examined ways that seven high school English teachers attempted to promote higher levels of self-regulation and students' responses to their efforts. Researchers met with teachers once a week for three months to design higher-order reasoning questions for assignments and quizzes, review student responses and plan instructional strategies. They functioned as participant observers in these sessions examined student homework logs, and interviewed students and teachers. Teachers' responses emphasized the value of collaboration and asking higher-order reasoning questions. Although students continued to articulate performance goals that focused on grades and rewards, their responses demonstrated greater awareness of self-regulation and goal setting. Most students were able to use the language of self-regulation to describe relations among goals, effort, and outcomes. Results of this case study suggest that efforts to promote self-regulation more explicitly within the fabric of lessons might be productive, especially if offered for an extended amount of time.