Self-Regulation: The Other 21st Century Skills

Jackie Gerstein, In Our Time: Philosophy, Aug 25, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The whole character-building thing has been in vogue recently, what with people writing about "grit" and other aspects of successful learners (and people). There is some point to this - you will not become successful at anything (whether work, hobbies or even lifestyle) without putting the effort, which takes motivation and perseverence. But there's also an aspect of this movement whereby these are externally defined. Take this: "Self-regulated learning is the conscious planning, monitoring, evaluation, and ultimately control of one’s learning in order to maximize it." It depicts the self as naturally something (someone?) you have to battle in order to succeed. Well - I have never thought that way about my own work. Yes, I work very hard, struggle with means and motivation, and even measure progress sometimes (but not nearly as often as you might thing). But it's not a battle - for me, it's a process of immersing myself completely into my own life. My 'other 21st century skills' are these skills. It's worth noting the difference.

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