How to foster self-regulated learning skills

Pupils who fail to revise effectively will be left to sink or swim when it comes to exams – and even those who dive in often struggle to translate hard work into results. So Mark Miller set out to change his school’s approach to nurturing independent study

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Adil is, in most respects, a model student. He completes his homework on time, is attentive and well-behaved in class, and knows that he wants to go to university and qualify as a dentist.

In the lesson before his Romeo and Juliet assessment, he assures me that he has been revising – and he even shows me his notes to prove it. I’m looking forward to reading his essay. But when it arrives, I’m disappointed. Despite his apparent effort, he has not improved.

The problem facing Adil and students like him is not that he doesn’t revise but that he doesn’t know how to. And, crucially, he doesn’t ...

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