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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning


​​Self-Regulation includes an awareness of what stresses us, how it imp​acts us and the ability to develop ways to manage it to be calm, alert, and willing to learn.​​​​ 

To learn about the Five Domains of Self Regulation, click
on any one of the fingers​ to learn more about a specific domain.

The Durham District School Board has been working in close partnership with Dr. Stuart Shanker to promote the academic success and well-​being of students in our classrooms.  Dr. Stuart Shanker is a Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Education at York University. In addition he has held a number of posts including Director, the Early Childhood Research initiative; Co-Director, the Council of Human Development; and President, the Council for Early Child Development. Dr. Shanker has served as an advisor on early child development to government organizations across Canada, the US, and countries around the world.  He believes that self-regulation should now be considered a more important indicator of educational performance than IQ.  He believes, "It is essential that we look at students through a different lens, to shift from thinking in terms of behaviour management to figuring out why we see certain behaviours and what can be done to help these students learn to self-regulate."  

Kids-Group-2.jpgBehaviour can be viewed as a reaction to stressors which occur in one of five domains rather than a behaviour choice. 

Here are a few examples within each domain:

Supporting Your Child/Adolescent –
Be a Detective

excellence-map.jpgSelf-regulation is closely tied to the Ministry goa​ls of Achieving Excellence and Prom​oting Well-Being.

Parents can help their children and adolescents learn how to self-regulate ​by helping your child:
  1. Understand what calm and alert looks and
    feels like for your child
  2. Recognize when your child is stressed
  3. Identify what is stressing your child
  4. Decide to take action
  5. Figure out which strategy will help
  6. Return to a calm and alert state
    (adapted from Sh​anker, S. (2013). Calm, Alert, and Learning: Classroom Strategies for Self-Regulation. Don Mills, Ontario: Pearson.)


D​omain Ro​utines and Actions Monitor & Manage Resiliency Benefits
Biological Healthy and personal choices - food, exercise, rest, play/recreation, environmental conditions related to the 5 senses  Energy levels

Environmental Conditions

Healthy and Personal Choices
Positive Energy
Emotional Healthy routines supporting emotional/mental health and well-being Intensity of emotions Emotional Balance
Cognitive Set goals
Healthy risk-taking and learning
Desire to create and innovate
Create, execute and revise plans
Appropriate use of learning aids​


Logical thinking

Calm, Alert and Motivated
​Social Communicate appr​opriately with others One's own feelings and intentions

Awareness of others perspectives

Effect of one's communication on others​
Effective Communication with Others
Pro- Social Desire to do the right thing

Willingness to act in an empathetic manner​
The needs of others vs. one’s own needs Honest and Empathetic Interactions with Others​​

Be A Detective With Empathy​
You will need to learn what your child needs in order
 to up- or down- regulate in each of the five domains.

​​Safe Schools — Well-Being — Self Regulation​​​​​​​


Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
© Durham District School Board, 2013