Modifying Learning Environments to Enhance Personal Learning

Year: 1990

Author: Dart, Barry C., Clarke, John A.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The aim of this project is to increase teacher education students' understanding of the learning process by focussing on their own learning experiences in a semester course in Educational Psychology. 67 preservice teacher education students in 4 classes completed measures of academic locus of control, perceived competencies in self-directed learning and study processes before and after a semester course in a specially designed program in Educational Psychology. The program focussed on students taking greater responsibility for their own learning by exposing them to a variety of learning experiences. These experiences include negotiation of the curriculum, peer discussion and teaching, learning contracts, self, peer and collaborative assessment and critical reflection on these and other learning experiences by means of an ongoing learning log.

Results indicate an increase in academic locus of control for one class, an increase in perceived competence in a number of aspects of self management in learning, an increase in deep motive, achieving strategy and deep approach to learning. These outcomes are discussed in terms of the congruence between these changes and the particular learning experiences to which the students were exposed.