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Saljo (1979) carried out an interview study in which he asked a group of adults what learning meant to them. Analyses of the transcripts produced five qualitatively different conceptions. This was indeed one of the questions which van Rossum and Schenk (1984) set out to illuminate in a recent study.
They do my papers used an open-ended questionnaire to identify the conceptions of learning held by the students. The students also had to read a piece of argumentative prose, give an account of its content, and report about their experience of learning. The design of this part of their study was very similar to that of the Gothenburg experiment already extensively discussed in this chapter.
Furthermore a close correlation between conceptions of learning and approaches to learning was found (see Table 3. The third conception appears to be intermediate between the others. The quantitative increase in knowledge (the first conception of learning) is achieved reasonably by memorization (second conception). On the other hand, we improve our understanding of reality (fifth conception) by abstracting meaning from what we read, see, hear (fourth conception). The first one of these two pairs of conceptions is closely linked to the TABLE 3. Understanding reality 1 12 13 Sub-totals 35 34 69 54 THE EXPERIENCE OF LEARNING surface approach, not only empirically, but conceptually as well. A similar relationship seems to hold between the second pair of conceptions (the fourth and fifth) and the deep approach. Especially in the context of normal studies, the distinction between conception (aiming at a better understanding thesis writing services uk of reality be abstracting meaning from what is presented) and approach (focusing attention on what the presentation refers to) seems to become blurred. Conclusion In Chapter 2 it is argued that the outcome of this kind of learning should be described in terms of the conceptions of the phenomena learned about which have been reached through learning. As one help with writing college essays 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 custom essays toronto 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 custom essays toronto 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.
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 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 3.