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ERIC Number: EJ799487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0158-037X
Child Care Students' Practical Conceptions of Learning
Boulton-Lewis, G. M.; Brownlee, J.; Berthelsen, D.; Dunbar, S.
Studies in Continuing Education, v30 n2 p119-128 Jul 2008
This paper describes an analysis of interview transcripts for 77 first- and second-year students enrolled in a vocational education course for child-care work. The purpose was to identify their conceptions of learning. All six categories of conceptions, as identified originally by Martin et al. (1993), were found. However, more than 50% of the conceptions were at level A (increasing knowledge). This category was richer and more differentiated than found in other research and had a practical, applied focus. The participants did not generally situate their learning in a formal context based on reading theoretical material. This finding provides a new perspective on conceptions of learning. The results are compared with research in vocational, informal, workplace and teacher learning. The conceptions of learning held by the child-care students could present a challenge for lecturers in the vocational programme who expect that students will underpin practical skills with theoretical knowledge. It is less likely that students will engage in innovative behaviours in practice if their approach to learning is based mainly on practical, procedural knowledge. The findings raise questions as to how to move students' conceptions to a higher more theoretical mode of learning. (Contains 1 table and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia