Personal essay writers

She also felt that passing the assignments had given her much needed encouragement. By the time the course was finished personal essay writers Sally presented an altogether more congruent picture. Interviewer: When you think of learning in general, what does learning mean to you, what does it mean to learn something? She was even using ideas from the course to explain her own attitude to learning or needs from the course. This reflexivity shows an active approach to learning, lally felt much more confident in herself. She had passed the course and Wll feeling much more positive about her ability to study.

When she talked about the gains from studying the course we can see how they are flitted to her personal intrinsic orientation — being changes in her own ability and confidence, new interests and broader knowledge. There is a clear link, both logically and in terms of her own I descriptions between her personal intrinsic orientation to learning and her j perceptions of gains from the course — her descriptions of an increase in j confidence and seeing the world differently. In commenting on the details j of how she tackled particular learning tasks, she described an active and thoughtful approach — planning essays, working on one topic at once.

With this more sophisticated conception of j learning, we would expect her to take a deep approach to studying more ij consistently. The evidence is, of course, not limited to the two cuse studies: we are drawing on the whole sample to provide many other Instances of connections between these concepts. Moreover, educational orientation is not an invariable property ascribed to a student. It describes the relationship between the Individual and both the course of study and the institution — it can change and develop over time. Before the course, these orientations were hardly discernible. Educational orientation is an important construct as it contributes to our understanding of what students learn. The case studies of John Williams and Sally Brown demonstrate these relationships.

We can see how their personal context of study has a powerful influence over how they approached studying and what they guined from the course.

Many lecturers seem unaware of the very different orientations held by their students, and so, as we saw in Chapter 1, tend to blame students for laziness (or lack of motivation). They thus assume that there is a single reason for being at university or college — to obtain the highest level of qualification. The Open University provides degree level education for adults studying j part-time at a distance.

The teaching j materials consist of specially prepared correspondence texts, television and radio j broadcasts, supported by face-to-face tuition at the local level. It was little discussed and largely unstudied in any systematic way.

Broadly speaking, that situation no longer obtains.

The prospect of academics thinking as hard about their teaching as they do about their research may remain a distant one (Becher, 1978), but the closed doors which Layton saw have been gradually eased apart by empirical enquiry and open debate. The study of teaching has become accepted rather than exceptional, and there are growing signs that the traditional reluctance of lecturers to engage in self-evaluation and appraisal, though still widespread, is not universal.

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Most colleges and universities mount staff development activities of some kind or other to help academics to reflect on and improve their leaching. Yet while teaching itself has begun to be more vigorously and openly examined, the teaching- learning process as it is experienced by students Hus remained hidden from view. It derives from the vantage-points which they personal essay writers occupy and it is concerned in the main with the activities in which they — rather than their students — -are engaged. The first of these is quite simply that while our knowledge of lecturers and of the part they play in teaching has grown substantially, students have remained shadowy and insubstantial figures, part of the background rather than the foreground of discussion and debate. In short, the experience of students has been taken for granted rather than systematically explored. Indeed, teaching expertise has been primarily associated with accomplishment in the lecture-hall or the seminar room, and staff development initiatives have tended to be directed towards improvement of this aspect of teaching performance. The problems of how or what students are expected to learn from lectures, seminars or practicals — and more particularly, of how students might be helped to maximize what they might learn in such situations personal essay writers — have remained largely unexplored or unaddressed.

A further and linked consequence of an emphasis on what we might call direct teaching situations has been a corresponding lack of emphasis on learning activities in which academics are only indirectly engaged. Such activities include background reading, report and essay writing, working through set problems, note-taking and revision. But the chief responsibility for carrying out and learning from these activities is considered to rest with students.

Such activities are thus widely viewed as playing an auxiliary rather than central role in the teaching-learning process, at base reinforcing and extending what students have assimilated from more formal teaching encounters.

It is therefore important to recognize not only that a knowledge of students and of learning has been substantially lacking, but also that this has meant that assumptions about what teaching entails and what the roles and responsibilities of a teacher in higher education are have sprung from a less than complete view of the teaching-learning process. In one sense, then, the present book can help to close the gap by offering an understanding of what it means to learn in higher education. But in an equally crucial respect, the unaccustomed vantage-point which it adopts also serves to challenge prevailing assumptions about teaching and learn- ing. If our conception of learning is transformed by new knowledge, then our conception of teaching must also undergo metamorphosis. The purpose of the present chapter is to sketch out the foundations and implications of an experiential conception of the teaching-learning process, i. A comprehensive review of the findings of earlier chapters will be undertaken in Chapter 12. Here the aim is to highlight main themes which spring from the findings, to suggest what these imply for our thinking about the teaching-learning process, and to illustrate the kinds of initiatives which might follow in consequence.

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