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But it was also seen as crucial to plan a curricular und teaching strategy which systematically fostered the growth of independent learning: From the first day of the first term students are encouraged to identify what they need to learn in order to solve and manage problems. The main thrust of this approach is centred, but by no means exclusively, on problem-based learning. Here the students are helped to ask themselves questions in a logical order, so that the resultant sequence of learning will lead to the answers that can be applied to the problem in hand. This approach is reflected in the way in which each first problem-solving group meeting is organized and the way in which the related learning material is planned. The materials are very specific during the early part of the undergraduate Course to enable students to become accustomed to the new way of Organizing their studies, and there is close monitoring of achievement and Itrong tutorial support. Often participants in our discussions had not had other opportunities of discussing their teaching with colleagues, and only in a very few cases had teachers discussed their intentions or methods with their students. More specifically, we have tried to demonstrate how academics can ally their own experiences and perspectives to an understanding of those of their students, and thus learn from an experiential conception of teaching. We have indicated directions which fresh initiatives might follow, but without prescribing fixed routes forward. Since every teaching-learning situation is in its own way unique, academics must be their own helmsmen, devising courses of action tailored to their discipline, their local circumstances and their own particular purposes. Reflective teaching and the quality of learning go hand in hand. Acknowledgements The author would like to express his sincere thanks to the Swedish I Institute and to the Department of Education, University of Gothenburg.
Their generous support made the preparation of this chapter possible. In particular, we identified varying perspectives held by lecturers, psychologists, and educational researchers and pointed the way towards an alternative perspective — that term papers help of the student. Each of the succeeding chapters has introduced evidence on how students themselves have experienced different aspects of learning and studying. In the process the reader has been introduced to a potentially confusing range of terms introduced in the various studies, together with descriptions of variations in qualitative methodologies. In this final chapter we aim to provide a conceptual and methodological integration of the work presented in earlier chapters in a way which will point up the defining characteristics of this perspective on learning, and of the research methodology that has been used to explore it. In the previous chapter the research findings were used to challenge lecturers to reconceptualize the role of teaching in the teaching-learning process. Our ideas about study skills also demanded a radical reappraisal.
We were calling for a fundamental shift in emphasis away from the more mechanical aspects of study skills. Students can be helped to take more conscious control of their study activities, to be more aware of their own purposes in studying, and to relate these to the explicit and implicit demands of the courses they were taking. The results of our research introduce a way of thinking about teaching and learning which provides guidelines for lecturers apd Itudents. It does not produce detailed prescriptions because we have ihown how learning and teaching need to be considered in relation to both content and context. Teachers or students have, instead, to reflect On their own individual needs and circumstances in the light of our findings — and then decide what action is implied.
It now seems clear that we can expect to see in student learning an outcome space which may contain.