Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 45–78 | Cite as

Self-regulated learning microanalysis as a tool to inform professional development delivery in real-time



Elementary teachers in the United States are tasked with teaching all core subject matter and have training that involves many topics, which may limit the depth of their subject matter knowledge. Since they have low content knowledge, they often feel less confident about teaching technical subject matter, such as science (Bleicher Journal of Science Teacher Education 17:165–187, 2006). The problem of low confidence of elementary teachers for science instruction is exacerbated when they are expected to teach science using inquiry (Hanuscin et al. Science Education 95:145–167, 2010). Self-regulated learning microanalysis, which supports both instruction and assessment, can help teachers reflect on their learning processes. This technique may provide clues for teachers to improve strategies for learning and give information to professional development instructors to inform teacher professional development experiences. The purpose of this study was to examine self-regulatory learning cycles that fourteen elementary teachers experienced while engaged in learning about inquiry during a professional development. Results of this study showed that before the professional development, teachers reported low self-efficacy but high task value and perceived instrumentality for learning about inquiry. As the professional development progressed, teachers improved their goal setting skills, self-monitoring performance, and learning tactics. The self-regulated learning microanalysis revealed information not communicated in the professional development experience, which led to adaptation of the activities in real-time to meet the needs indicated on the self-regulated learning microanalysis reports. Measuring teacher learning processes allowed the professional development instructors to pinpoint difficulties and successes during the learning tasks, which aided in precise adaptation of experiences for teacher needs.


Self-regulated learning SRL microanalysis Inquiry-based instruction Science education Teacher professional development 



We would like to acknowledge Dr. Timothy Cleary for his helpful comments on the draft versions of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was not funded by a grant source.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education and Human DevelopmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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