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Taken together, these studies illustrate that although in one sense it is fairly easy to influence the approach people adopt when learning, in another sense it appears very difficult. It is obviously quite easy to induce a surface approach and enhance the tendency to take a reproductive attitude when learning from texts. However, when attempting to induce a deep approach the difficulties seem quite profound.

If we return for a moment pay people to write papers to the nature of this distinction as it emerged in our studies, the fundamental difference between approaches has been described as one of whether students interpreted the text itself as what was to be learned, or conceived the text as the means through which they sought to grasp the meaning underlying the words and so to change their conceptions about historical developments, economic processes, or whatever.

The fact that even when students have been encouraged through various means to adopt a deep approach redefine pay people to write papers the situation in a way which will make it expedient to use a surface approach, should tell us something about the strong mechanisms operating within educational contexts in support of this reproductive mode of learning. Learning or reading out of interest, a wish to find something out (i. On the other hand, comments from students who had adopted a surface approach showed that they had tried to memorize the text because they felt that this was required of them.

Surface approach and the motive of fulfilling the demands raised by others (i. His premise was that intrinsic motivation is not so much something one creates but rather something one finds. Once again, the material used was in the form of a text, but the text was chosen in such a way that it could be considered to be of immediate interest to one of the groups that participated in the experiment, but not the other.

The text was about the examination system in the Education Department. The group which was assumed to be interested in the text was made up of first-year students in the department. The other group consisted of sociology students who were not taking Education. In addition, each group was randomly divided into two subgroups. One of these subgroups was subjected to treatment that was assumed would create extrinsic motivation while the other subgroup was left alone. This subgroup were told that after they had read the text they would be asked to give an oral report and that their report would be video-recorded (the equipment was prominently displayed). After the sessions the students were asked to fill in questionnaires indicating how interested they were in the text, and how anxious they felt while reading it.

Of course, not all the students from the Department of Education were interested in the text, nor were all the sociology students uninterested in it. Not all the subjects found the idea of being video-taped particularly threatening, but on the other hand some of those who were simply told they would have to write down what they could remember after having read the text, became very nervous.

Some of the subjects who did not usually become nervous in other situations of a similar nature, did not become nervous this time either while others did.

All this came to light during the interviews that were held after the experiment.

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The analysis showed that the main effect on approach to learning came not from the experimental situation per se, but from the reported experiences of the students — whether they felt interested, threatened, or anxious.

Intrinsic motivation, absence of threat (extrinsic motivation) and absence of anxiety, both independently and together, were associated with a deep approach. Threat (extrinsic motivation), anxiety and absence of intrinsic motivation similarly correlate with a surface approach. Approaches to Learning and Conceptions of Learning There is, however, a paradoxical circular relation between approach to learning and motivation to learn. As the results quoted in the previous section suggest, intrinsic motivation (interest) seems to lead to a deep approach and extrinsic motivation (concern with demands) to a surface approach. In order to unravel this circularity we may need to move to a superordinate level of description. The differences between contrasting experimental groups reflect the effect of context on learning. Their perceptions of the task reflect their past experiences of similar situations, and so mirror differences in their preconceived ideas of what it takes to learn. 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 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 pay people to write papers pay people to write papers 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 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.

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