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As one of the most immediate implications for teaching, on the other hand, attention is drawn in Chapter 11 to the importance of knowing what conceptions students already hold about the phenomena to be introduced to them. And it is exactly in transitions between preconceived ideas of the phenomena and an improved understanding of those phenomena, where the most important form of learning in higher education is to be found. Chapters 1 and 2 both showed, however, that this conceptualization of learning differs radically from the one underlying the way in which learning has been dealt with in psychological research. The research described in this book is an attempt to draw attention to outcomes of learning which seem to coincide with the aims of university lecturers (as seen in Chapter 1), and yet are currently underemphasized in the teaching methods most commonly adopted, and not reached by the many students who still conceptualize learning in terms of reproductive requirements.

To the extent to which students and teachers share understanding of what it means to learn, we should expect improvements in the quality of learning in higher education — and indeed in education in general. Acknowledgements The research reported here has been financially supported by two separate grants from the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, one to each of the authors. In very concrete terms it meant sorting the quotes into piles, trying to extract a core meaning common to all the quotes in a certain pile, examining the borderline cases and eventually making explicit the criterial attributes defining each group, not the least in contrast to the other groups. In such a way the group of quotes were turned into categories defined in terms of core meaning, on the one hand, and borderline buy custom term paper buy custom term paper cases, on the other. Each category was exemplified by a selection of appropriate quotes.

An important difference between the way we proceeded and traditional content analysis was that here the categories into which buy custom term paper the comments were sorted had not been predetermined. Our analysis was dialectical in the sense that bringing the quotes together developed the meaning of the category, while at the same time the evolving meaning determined which of the categories were included or omitted.

This meant of course a lengthy and painstaking iterative procedure with continual modifications in Which quotes were assembled, and consequently further changes in the precise meaning of each group of quotes.

There was, however, a decreasing rate of change and eventually the whole system became stabilized. The outcome was a hierarchial structure of categories, chiefly related to each other in terms of similarities and differences.

A second important difference in relation to content analysis was the level at which we examined what the students had said about their experience of learning. Chapter Four Skill in Learning LENNART SVENSSON University of Gothenburg Introduction In the preceding chapter, the distinction between deep and surface approach was presented. This distinction is used throughout the book as a general framework for describing differences in learning. Within this general framework, differences between people in their ways of organizing learning materials are distinguished. It is the aim of the present chapter to pursue further the question of organization in learning and to specify in greater detail the nature of the relation between the activity of the learner and the outcome of learning.

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This will be done by use of the concept of skill in learning and by further describing the meaning of approaches to learning.

In the present chapter the term skill will be used to refer to the nature or quality of an interaction. The term skill is used in a way similar to that of Bartlett (1951 and 1958) and Singleton (1978). Bartlett gives the term skill a very broad meaning and makes the concept a fundamental one in describing all human activity. Singleton summarizes the meaning skill has to Bartlett and his colleagues in the following way. Sir Frederick Bartlett and his colleagues in the Psychology Department were talking and writing about the concept of skill as the fundamental unit of behaviour.

This made entire sense to me but not apparently to very many other people because the movement dwindled rapidly with the retirement of Sir Frederick in 1952. It got lost within performance studies which were essentially behaviouristic and stimulus-response in origin, a quite different style of thinking from the gestalt approach of skill psychology. Such buy custom term paper skills are conditions for and parts of learning, and the quality of learning is dependent upon the quality of the skills deployed.

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the most important general characteristics of skill in learning. An important change which takes place when one moves through the successive levels of the educational system from primary school to higher education concerns the learning tasks dealt with. The knowledge and the phenomena which students are required to deal with increase in scope and complexity. Differences )n complexity have important implica- tions for the meaning of skill in learning, and organization, as we shall see, is the most important element in dealing with complexity. Organization is also the aspect of the treatment of the learning material most closely linking the qualities of knowledge and outcome of learning described in Chapter 2 and the approaches to learning described in Chapter buy custom term paper 3. The main differences in knowledge described in Chapter 2 are of an organizational or structural character and they are related to corresponding differences in the approach to the content of the task. Here we shall discuss skill in learning by further exploring the concept of organization. The centrality of organization to skill in learning will be examined through a consideration of the learning of three different and successively more complex kinds of subject-matter: learning combinations of signs, learning facts, and learning organized wholes. Learning Combinations of Signs The aim of this brief section on combinations of signs is not to emphasize the learning of such material but to provide a background to the description of learning of facts and organized wholes. In dealing with the question of learning, we shall first describe and discuss the skill of performing a task and then we shall comment on what might be learned from performing the task. Organizing and memorizing combinations of signs The work of Ebbinghaus (1913) represents an early tradition within the psychology of learning which shed light on the understanding of remembering.

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