Extended essay help
PREFACE xii level of writing and the amount of detail presented is intended to make the ideas accessible to a wider audience. There has also been a considerable effort put into creating overall coherence in the monograph. Coherence was easier than usual to obtain because similar theoretical perspectives and research approaches had been adopted by all the contributors. But in addition it was possible to bring the contributors together on two occasions, thanks to financial support from both the Swedish and the British Social Science Research Councils, to discuss first the structure of the book and then to have lengthy and detailed discussions of the draft chapters. The result is a research monograph with a difference: we hope that difference shows. But in this chapter that experience is examined first from perspectives adopted by other groups — lecturers, psychologists, and educational researchers in an attempt to explore the meaning of learning as it is understood by these different interested groups.
Each group and, ultimately, each individual, has an interpretation of reality which is in some sense unique. And yet effective communication depends on shared assumptions, definitions, and understanding.
Out of this paradox both teachers and researchers struggle to make sense of the contrasting experiences of learning reported by those involved in the process of education.
While earlier research tended to use ready-made concepts from psychology and sociology to explain differences in student attainment, the new research reported here develops a set of concepts altogether more accessible to teachers and students and firmly rooted in their common experiences. These concepts provide a radically different perspective on learning which should bring about a better, shared, understanding of learning processes Which are currently interpreted very differently by these two groups. The research focus of this book is higher education. Almost all the detailed evidence in subsequent chapters is drawn from that particular Setting, and yet implications, in a general way at least, can be seen more broadly. In every educational system one of the prime considerations of idministrators, teachers, and students alike, at each age level, is what we call the outcome of learning — what students can demonstrate of their Increases in knowledge and changes in understanding as a result of their experiences in school or college. This book explores what students learn and how that learning takes place. Educational research can be seen as careful, systematic attempts at achieving a better understanding of the educational process, with the aim Of improving its effectiveness. Our task is thus to describe more clearly how learning takes place in higher education, and to point out how teaching and assessment affect the quality of that learning. All the evidence presented in the main body of the book extended essay help comes from studies carried out either in Sweden or Britain, and yet the similarities in the forms of teaching and learning in higher education across the world suggest that our main message should strike home to lecturers and students in every country.
The extended essay help message, in its simplest form, is that as educators we should be much more concerned than we are with the quality of learning. Much of our current teaching and assessment seems to induce a passive, reproductive form of learning which is contrary to the aims of the teachers themselves.
It is introduced here as an assertion, but later an impressive array of research evidence, and both logical and empirical analyses will be used to justify it. We should then examine what is actually - achieved in relation to what is intended. Clearly the answer will differ in detail from subject area to subject j area, but is there any general consensus? CONTRASTING PERSPECTIVES ON LEARNING 3 they can use their analytical techniques very consciously, in fact their whole way of treating questions is affected by this kind of training. For example, a lecturer in physics had extended essay help a clear Idea of what he and his colleagues were trying to achieve, with their Students.
Secondly, we want to develop mathematical and deductive skills, to allow them to analyse their experiments...
Thirdly, we want — perhaps too much — to cover the entire ground of classical and modern physics so that they have a fairly comprehensive idea of what the entire corpus of knowledge is in the subject — with a fair amount of emphasis on the latest developments so that they can get out into a job knowing what physics is like today. They saw background knowledge as an essential prerequisite for thinking critically and imaginatively about their subject, but were often apprehensive about Over-emphasizing factual knowledge and binding the student too firmly within currently accepted theoretical frameworks. One must also liberate , him from them, enabling him to stand back from them and see that they are a rather arbitrary historical collection of techniques which are not the end of the story. In the interviews with lecturers there was substantial consensus about the importance of critical thinking, but it was far from clear how this was expected to be achieved through the predominant teaching methods of lectures, tutorials, and practical classes. Snyder (1971) at MIT pointed out that the formal curriculum,! The Lancaster lecturers were, on the whole, not aware of the widej divergence between intent and teaching procedures. But for the moment let us look instead at two other sets of contrasting perspectives. Both the psychologist and the educational psychologist have a professional interest in learning, but they have looked extended essay help at the phenomenon in quite different ways, and made use of a variety of research methodologies. The different questions raised and methods followed produce characterizations of learning which have rather little in common. Psychological Research on Learning Research into memory and learning Teachers look to psychologists for explanations of fundamental principles of learning. It used to be accepted that an understanding of underlying brain mechanisms and functions would have direct implications for the teacher. But much of the early work in experimental psychology involved attempts to Uncover general principles of learning, and followed as closely as possible the well-tried research procedures in the physical sciences. Scientifically it was much sounder to see how well people remembered new material. Thus a Whole tradition of memory research was built out of nonsense, but was ) only much later recognized as such.