ERIC Number: ED173369
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Learning in the Learner's Perspective. I. Some Common-Sense Conceptions. No. 76.
Ninety Swedish teenagers and adults with varying levels of formal education were interviewed about their own learning experiences and techniques. Subjects were then asked what they actually meant by learning. The concept was variously defined as: (1) an increase in knowledge (merely a synonym for the word learning); (2) memorizing; (3) an acquisition of facts or principles, which can be retained and used in practice; (4) an abstraction of meaning; and (5) an interpretive process aimed at understanding reality. The variation in subjective conceptions of learning resembles the distinction made in research between surface-level and deep-level processing. As surface-level processes, concepts 2 and 3 depict knowledge as external and ready-made and learning as passive. Concepts 4 and 5, as deep-level processes, depict knowledge as raw material--it is the task of the learner to actively select and condense ideas. Self-reported conceptions of learning can be characterized on a shallow/deep continuum, but this relationship is symbolic, not causal. Thus, one's learning conception explains the level of processing chosen, but this level is not applied in every learning situation. (CP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Stockholm.
Authoring Institution: Gothenburg Univ. (Sweden). Inst. of Education.
Note: For related documents, see TM 008 656-658