In the context of improving the learning process, a framework of self-regulated learning (SRL) is presented, which is regarded as a necessary pre-requisite for life-long learning. SRL has been used as a conceptual framework for a qualitative investigation conducted through participatory action research. Within the basis of the social-cognitive theoretical framework the phases of self-regulated learning are presented and analyzed as teachers implemented these phases during the teaching of Natural Sciences in grade eight and nine. The framework is envisaged to assist teachers to explore their own teaching and also to inculcate a sense of autonomy and responsibility in their learners‟ learning.
The Natural Sciences teachers, who participated in the study, attended a two hours‟ workshop for three days to be informed about action research and self-regulated learning as these were new concepts to them. The teachers taught self-regulated learning strategies through investigative lessons based on inquiry-based learning. Three middle schools were examined using on-site observations, open-ended interviews with individual teachers and teacher journals as data gathering methods.
The results explained the experiences the teachers encountered during the application of SRL strategies in the classroom. Despite the limitations of the study, the teachers support the integration of SRL strategies in the teaching and learning of Natural Sciences and they also see SRL as a motivation to engage in innovative programmes to continually improve teaching approaches in order to better the performance of learners. The outcome of this research study was partly positive because the participating teachers could not effectively implement the SRL strategies in the classroom for it was their first encounter with the concepts self-regulated learning and action research. Hence, there is still a lot that has to be done for effective implementation.