NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ972918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
Independent Learning Crossing Cultures: Learning Cultures and Shifting Meanings
Spiro, Jane; Henderson, Juliet; Clifford, Valerie
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v42 n4 p607-619 2012
This paper contrasts the notion of "independent learning" as perceived by two informant groups at a UK institution of higher education: (1) teachers, educators and providers of education and (2) their students or "consumers" of education. Both informant groups are staff and students studying in a culture different to that of their first education. They are identified in their receiving institution as "international", or have identified themselves as such. The experience of transition into a UK University was explored with both informant groups, through interviews and focus groups, over a cycle of two years. "Independent learning" as rhetoric and practice emerged for both groups as an issue in their transition from familiar to unfamiliar learning culture. Three key insights emerged. Firstly, a mismatch is identified between teacher perceptions and student interpretation of "independent learning" expectations and practice. Secondly, it emerges that student experience of the learning culture is in a state of continuous flux, evolving between first arrival and end of programme through cycles of bafflement and empowerment. Finally, both students and teachers identify a number of strategies for dealing with this experience of "transitional" independence. The paper concludes by recommending a notion of "phased scaffolding" that might inform educational practice and by reflecting on the implications for the educator in revisiting received educational discourse from the perspective of participants negotiating a second learning culture.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom