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Help-Seeking - Newman R S(1998 Adaptive help seeking A role...

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Newman, R. S. (1998) Adaptive help seeking: A role of social interaction in self- regulated learning. In S.A. Karabenick (Ed.), Snategic help seekircg: Implications for learning and teaching (pp. 13-37). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. R e p r o d u c e d b y p c r n l i r r i o n o f t h e p u b 1 i s h e r . F u r t h e r r e p r o d u c t i o n i r p r o h i b i t e d w i t h o u t w r i t r c n p e r m i s s i o n o l t h t p u b l i s h e r . Adaptive Help Seeking: A Role of Social interaction in Self-Regulated Learning Richard S. Newman University of California at Riverside A r Stuaents often do not take an active role In their own learning. For one 9 4 , : thhg, they tend not to seek help from their teacher or classmates when &ey encounter academlc difficulties. Despite awareness of difilculties $5:' thgr may have. and despite availability of assistance, many students ." ,-&d .?" b to-persist unsuccessfully on their own. give up prematurely, or .Sff -,-,. passively, waiting for the teacher to come to them. Recent research ,bed at understanding why this is the case and what can be done to help students become more actlve and successful learners is based on the assumption that help seeking can be viewed as an adaptive strategy of self-regulated learning (see Schunk & Zimrnennan. 1994). Self- regulated learners are characterized by their purposeful control over academic outcomes. Their actlvlty is combined with goals of learning and beliefs of emcacy; they monitor their performance and apply cognitive and environmental resources as tasks demand. As such, self-regulated learners are aware of occasional dif3culty and have the wherewithal, self-detenntnation, and sometimes even a sense of chal- lenge, to remedy that Wculty. This vlew of adaptive help seeklng contrasts sharply with an older, more traditional view, whereby seeking help indicates a student's incompetence, Immaturity, and dependence on others. Since the early 1980s. research has foilowed the lead of Nelson-Le Gall ( 198 1, 1985) in Merentiatlng between help seeking that indicates overdependence and help seeldng that indicates a striving for mastery and academic
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independence. It has become clear that when fused with one set of goals, intentions, and knowledge, raising one's hand and asking for help are behaviors that may maintain a student's dependence on others. When fused with a different set of goals, intentions. and knowledge, the same behaviors function as a means for overcoming diff'iculty ~n learning and, in the long run. achieving mastery and autonomy. The goal of this chapter is to further understanding of adaptive help seeking in the classroom. In order to pursue the goal, it is necessary to consider help seeking from both a cognitive-strategy perspective and a social-interactional process. Students who adaptively seek help are aware of their difficulty and needs, and they l h k W s awareness to an action in order to address the difficulty. In this sense, seeking assistance is a volitional strategy for maintaining task involvement. avertlng possible failure. and optimizing the chance for mastery (Corno, 1989:
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