Sofie Heirweg

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 120.103                     

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Henri Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Gent


Sofie Heirweg



Self-regulated learning

Upper primary school students 




My research focuses on measuring and promoting upper primary school students’ use of self-regulated learning. More specifically, I investigate how students combine different cognitive (e.g., summarizing, rereading), metacognitive (e.g., planning, self-evaluation) and motivational strategies (e.g., persistence, motivation for learning) when learning.  


My PhD research therefore consisted of two research cycles:


During a first cycle in 2015-2016, I investigated whether fifth and sixth grade students are able to effectively organize and regulate their learning. To achieve this, more than 2000 students from 40 different Flemish schools were questioned by means of a self-report questionnaire. Furthermore, 105 students were involved in think-aloud protocol analysis.


During a second research cycle in 2017-2018, we developed a school-wide teacher professional development program on self-regulated learning. During this one-year program, 10 entire school teams were involved in training sessions that focused on improving their ability to sustain and promote SRL in their classrooms and school. The effectivity of this professional development program was investigated at the student, teacher and school level. More information can be found on the personal page of Mona De Smul.


Considering that this research also focuses on teachers and schools, I collaborate with the research group BELLON. More information about the BELLON research team can be found on their website.


Publications and conferences