Monique Boekaerts started her professional career as a foreign language teacher. She graduated in psychology from Reading university (UK) in 1974 and became a full professor in Educational sciences at Nijmegen University 6 years later. In 1991 she transferred to Leiden University, where she held the chair of Learning an Instruction till 2011. As an emeritus professor, Boekaerts is still connected to the department of Educational Sciences as a guest professor. Her main research interests are self-regulation, motivation, and emotion. She wrote several books and over 250 scientific articles on these topics and is the principal editor of the Handbook of Self-Regulation.
Boekaerts played a leading role in the development of the motivation construct, designing the first situation-specific measurement instrument to assess motivation in the classroom (The On-line Motivation Questionnaire). Her theories and empirical studies have also been of high importance for the international recognition of the self-regulation construct. Boekaerts developed two models of self-regulated Learning: a structural model and a dynamic model. The former model describes the 6 main components of self-regulated learning, including domain-specific knowledge and skills, cognitive strategies, cognitive self-regulatory strategies, motivational beliefs and theory of mind, motivation strategies, and motivational self-regulatory strategies. This model was mainly used to gain insight into the domain-specific components of self-regulation, to inform teachers on these different components, and train them in the promotion of self-regulation strategies. The model was also instrumental to construct new measurement instruments for research and to design intervention programs. The latter model describes the dynamic aspects of self-regulated learning. It offers a theoretical scaffold for understanding findings from diverse psychological frameworks, including motivation, emotion, metacognition, self-concept, and learning. The model describes two parallel processing modes, namely a mastery or learning mode and a coping or well-being mode (Boekaerts and Niemivirta (2000). The model has generated extensive scholarly discussions, many testable hypotheses, and empirical studies. In the new Handbook of Self-regulation, edited by Zimmerman and Schunk, Boekaerts (2011) presented an extended version of the Dual Processing Self-regulation model, pointing to the different purposes of self-regulation during the learning process, namely (1) expanding one’s knowledge and skills, (2) protecting one’s commitment to the learning activity, and (3) preventing threat and harm to the self. The key role that appraisals and positive and negative emotions play in self-regulated learning was highlighted and the difference between 2 bottom-up strategies, namely volitional strategies and emotion regulation strategies, was illustrated (see also Boekaerts & Pekruns, 2014).
Boekaerts built up a national and international reputation for the application of her theories of motivation and self-regulation in educational practice. For many years she was the principal investigator of the Platform for School Innovation in Secondary Vocational Education in the Netherlands. She is also an active player on the international scene, giving numerous invited addresses and organizing many invited symposia and workshops on the topics of motivation and self-regulated learning. She is a founding member of the European Association of Learning and Instruction (EARLI) and served many executive functions in this organization. She was president of EARLI (1999-2001). Boekaerts was also president of the Division of Educational, Instructional and School Psychology of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP, 1998-2002). She is a Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and of the International Academy of Education, of which she was the president from 2006 - 2012. She received the Life time award for academic achievement in Research on Motivation and Emotion at the 12th International Conference on Motivation (2010).
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