What works: self regulation
Tranter, Dr. D., & Kerr, Dr. D. (2016, Feb.). Understanding self-regulation: Why stressed students struggle to learn. What works? Research into practice, #63.
From page 4: ” Self-regulation is about responding to stress and managing one’s state of arousal. Students who have experienced chronic stress often struggle to self-regulate; their level of arousal may be either too low or high or may fluctuate rapidly through the school day. Once educators understand self-regulation, they can utilize a variety of strategies to help their students be self-regulated and ready to learn”
The monograph describes self-regulation (3 analogies: self-control = the muscle; executive function = air treaffic control; self-regulation=gas and brakes) and how teachers can help students increase self-regulation strategies.
Check it out!
Also of note on this topic:
” Our experience is that teachers who have developed a certain level of understanding about biological self-regulation are often fairly quick to learn ways to adjust the classroom environment to reduce subtle stressors. This includes strategies like noise reduction (carpets on the floor, tennis balls on the feet of chairs etc.), reducing visual clutter (less artwork, posters and student work on classroom walls, use of curtains to hide items stored on shelves) and creating micro-environments – alternative spaces for children such as standing desks or tents designated as a quiet place where students can go to withdraw. This often makes a noticeable difference fairly quickly.
Teachers are also finding ways to build activities that support self-regulation into classroom routines. One of the most important ones is physical activity, which increases the heart rate, decreases tension in the body and supports optimal brain function.
Another thing we hear a lot from teachers is that when they learn to make the shift from seeing children’s behaviour as willful non-compliance to looking for the stressors behind the child’s behaviour, it’s like having a weight lifted from their shoulders. There are various reasons why this might be the case, but I suspect a reduction in the teachers’ stress is part of it. If you can improve children’s behaviour by lowering their stress levels, that reduces the energy you have burn battling to get kids to comply.”
The Professional Library has Shanker’s 2013 book Calm, Alert and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation – all of our copies are out currently, but TDSB teachers may reserve the book via the catalgoue at http://bit.ly/PLbookcat (remember to login before you clik on the Reserve button). If this is a topic that interests you, the Professional Library can provide you with LOTs of resources – just contact us (416) 395-8289 or firstname.lastname@example.org