This book has received the AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award 2013.
Self-regulated learning (SRL) is defined as the strategic pursuit of academic goals that involves the control over thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. This notion is taken for granted as a form of empowerment and as a form of engagement that good teachers will foster. This book is about exploring different sides to this story. It first proposes a framework for critically examining dominant and taken-for-granted ideas in educational psychology, then applies that framework to the examination of SRL to show how it endorses middle-class conventions, aligns with neoliberal logic, and renders individuals subordinate to oppressive educational structures. The book is a critique that is not necessarily intended to lead to the rejection of SRL, but rather to invite teachers, researchers, and policymakers to reflect on the possible consequences and ethics of taking up the aim to institutionalize SRL.
«Stephen Vassallo issues a clarion call to educators, policymakers, parents, and socially concerned citizens to look below the seemingly progressive, happy-faced surface of one of the most influential forms of purported advance in contemporary western education - classroom initiatives and programs that claim to promote students’ self-regulated learning so that they will be able to flourish in twenty-first-century schools and societies ...» (Jack Martin, Simon Fraser University; Co-Author of The Education of Selves)
«An engaging, informed and insistent critique whose scholarly analysis reveals how the key educational discourse of self-regulated learning via its concepts and assumptions bolsters an individualism that naturalises and pathologises social inequalities and endorses conformity ... The book offers a nuanced and rigorous analysis that proposes neither wholesale rejection nor endorsement of SRL but rather calls for critical reflection and political reformulation as a resource for effective individual and social action.» (Erica Burman, Manchester Metropolitan University)
«Using ‘self-regulated learning’ as a focal point for his analysis, Vassallo persuasively argues against traditional interpretations of what counts as academic success. He prods the reader to engage more thoroughly with what the contextual meaning of learning entails for situated individuals. This view opposes neoliberal orthodoxy and repositions socially situated, individually engaged learners as agents for intelligent change.» (Deron Boyles, Georgia State University)
«This book ... has direct relevance for classroom practice, giving teachers much-needed support for taking student agency or empowerment beyond the neoliberal assumptions of traditional methods in educational psychology that focus on the learning and achievement of the individual student. This intriguing and scholarly book should be required reading for senior undergraduate and postgraduate educational psychology, as well as critical psychology, students.» (Lise Bird Claiborne, University of Waikato, New Zealand)
About the Author:
Stephen Vassallo received his PhD in educational psychology and educational technology from Michigan State University and is currently Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at American University in Washington, D.C. He has focused on merging interdisciplinary perspectives to critically explore ignored tensions in the literature on self-regulated learning. Vassallo has published in Educational Studies, New Ideas in Psychology, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, and Studies in the Philosophy of Education.