A fundamental goal of education is to equip students with self-regulatory capabilities that enable them to educate themselves. Self directedness not only contributes to success in formal instruction but also promotes lifelong learning (Bandura, 1997). The area of research on self-regulated learning is well grounded within the framework of psychological literature attributed to motivation, metacognition, strategy use and learning. This study explored past research and established the purpose of teaching students to selfregulate their learning and highlighted the fact that teachers are expected to assume a major role in the learning process. A student reflective writing journal activity was sustained for a period of two semesters in two fourth-grade mathematics classrooms. The reflective writing journal was analyzed in search of identifying strategies reported by students. Research questions were analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequency counts, cross-tabs and chi-square analyses.
Results based on student-use of the journals and teacher interviews indicated that the use of a reflective writing journal does promote self-regulated learning strategies to the extent which the student is engaged in the journaling process. Those students identified as highly self-regulated learners on the basis of their strategy use, were shown to consistently claim to learn math "as well or better than planned" on a weekly basis. Furthermore, good self-regulators were able to recognize specific strategies that helped them do well and change their strategies across time based on the planned learning objectives. The perspectives of the participating teachers were examined in order to establish the context in which the students were working. The effect of "planned change" and/or the resistance to change as established in previous research, from the teachers point of view, was also explored. The analysis of the journal data did establish a significant difference between students who utilized homework as a strategy.
Based on the journals and interviews, this study finds that the systematic use of metacognitive, motivational and/or learning strategies can have a positive effect on student's responsiveness to their learning environment. Furthermore, it reflects that teaching students "how to learn" can be a vital part of the effectiveness of any curriculum.