ERIC Number: ED273652
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Development of Conceptions of Education.
Davidson, Philip M.
This study is a preliminary attempt to characterize the development of students' conceptions of education in a comprehensive fashion. The participants were recruited from a middle class suburban school district in Michigan. Seventy students in grades 3, 6, 9, and 12 were interviewed about several issues related to each of the following: (1) the purposes of education; (2) the process of learning; (3) the nature of intelligence; and (4) what should be taught in schools. Both increasing linear age trends and U-shaped developmental patterns were found. Conceiving of learners as actively involved --rather than as passive recipients--increases progressively with age, as does the valuing of "nontraditional" educational objectives (music, art, etc.). Sixth graders believe more strongly than other groups in the modifiability of intelligence through one's own efforts, resulting in a U-shaped trend for this variable. In addition, oldest and youngest students both believe strongly (compared with middle school students) in the intrinsic value of education, and in the value of "metaeducational" objectives (moral behavior, independent thinking, etc.), resulting in U-shaped trends for these variables. The overall pattern of results suggests a restructuring of knowledge about education across the school years, and three stages in this developmental progression are tentatively described. (Author/JAZ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).