Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Research Student: Katy Bloom

The role of self-regulation feedback on students’ self-belief systems in Physics

Submission Date: May 2017

Individuals often form their self-beliefs based on past successes and failures, attributing the outcome in different ways to personal characteristics, and often influenced by the perception of the feedback they have been given. There has been extensive research, pioneered by Dweck (2000, 2006) on peoples’ beliefs around their own ‘intelligence’, a term much contested in the literature. These beliefs, sometimes referred to in the literature as ‘mindsets’, are held to affect how individuals respond to challenges in learning, and how enjoyment for learning can be created and resilience promoted – so-called ‘mastery learning’. Attribution training refers to an intervention whereby individuals, who tend to blame their failures on their (lack of) ability, are taught how to reinterpret their failures in terms of a different reason or attribute – for example, self-regulation strategies such as effort expended.

The intervention in this study is therefore increasing the amount of self-regulation (SR) feedback given to students as attribution training, and to determine over a period of time whether it is deemed to have effected a change in students’ self-belief in physics, within the situated experience of a physics classroom. Self-regulated learning “refers to students’ skill in using a variety of learning functions and adapting this usage to the task demands at hand” (Vermunt & Verloop, 1999, p.276). Since SR feedback is itself the least utilised form of feedback in the classroom (Hattie & Masters, 2012, Van den Berg et al, 2013, Gan, 2011), increasing its deployment is in itself an interesting endeavour.


I am Lead Tutor for the Science PGCE at Leeds Trinity University, having previously been a Professional Development Leader at the National Science Learning Centre. Before joining the NSLC, I was Head of Science Faculty and an Advanced Skills Teacher in Physics in Leeds and York schools. 

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

I developed an interest in the AfL field during teaching, and subsequently wanted to formalize my research experience as a rigorous piece of study.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

That everyone thinks they are talking about the same thing when feedback is mentioned. It seems a unidimensional notion but in practice it is a multi-faceted approach. Which facets make the most impact on student learning and self-belief?

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I think that further questions will be raised by this research, but there are also implications for initial and continuing teacher development, which as a teacher educator is an exciting prospect.

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