"Well the first thing I done was to ask my Mum to go on the internet" A classroom based investigation into Year 8 students' knowledge about learning.

Year: 2006

Author: Askell-Williams, Helen, Lawson, Michael

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Students require knowledge that allows effective self-management of their learning. When students learn they use and construct knowledge in different domains. For example, they develop knowledge about subject-matter, knowledge about themselves and others, knowledge about their learning situations and knowledge about the learning process itself. This paper reports a classroom based investigation into interactions that occur between different knowledge domains. We conducted taped, in-class interviews about learning with a class of Year 8 students before, during and after their engagement with a self-selected independent investigation that ran during a whole school term. We used NUD*IST data analysis software to thematically code the students' statements. Certain themes were well represented, such as personal interest, planning and organising, information gathering and asking questions. Other themes were less well represented, such as metacognitive monitoring and higher order thinking about the gathered information. Students focussed upon the collection and presentation of gathered information, but did not appear to engage in thinking that allowed them to "go beyond the information given". More precise knowledge about the interactions between students' knowledge domains, such as between subject matter knowledge and learning process knowledge, will enable teachers and students to act more effectively during teaching and learning.