Mona De Smul

PhD student at the research group 'Language, learning, innovation', within the Department of Educational Sciences, Ghent University.White SRL   |  +32 (0) 9 264 94 40  |  +32 (0)9 264 86 64 (secretariat)  |  Office 120.032

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Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent


Mona De Smul


Self-regulated learning

School policy

Professional development




Planning, schematizing, independent study, etc. are all important skills for a successful school career. Especially for students at the end of primary education, before going to secondary education. For that reason, self-regulated learning has gained a lot of attention in Flanders through the cross-curricular targets ‘learning to learn’. Unfortunately, research found that teachers sometimes feel insecure about stimulating self-regulated learning in students and that developing a school policy regarding self-regulated learning remains a difficult task. My research investigates school and teacher characteristics associated with an effective school policy regarding the implementation of self-regulated learning in primary education. Moreover, my research investigates the impact of a professional development intervention for school teams regarding the school-wide implementation of self-regulated learning. For a large of my PhD research I worked in close collaboration with Sofie Heirweg.

My PhD research starts from the assumption that self-regulated learning can be considered an educational innovation in schools that requires teachers to change their way of teaching accordingly. Furthermore, we believe that a school-wide approach regarding self-regulated learning is necessary in order to ensure a gradual and continual approach of practices across the grades. In a first phase of my PhD, I investigated current practices regarding self-regulated learning in primary schools and I learned what school and teacher characteristics determine effective SRL implementation in schools. In a second phase, me and Sofie developed and implemented a school-wide professional development program to stimulate SRL implementation in schools.

Because of the strong focus in my research on teachers and schools, I also collaborate with the research group BELLON. Their expertise is mainly in the field of policy and leadership in education.



Publications and conferences