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No 12 / 28

The importance of the context for the learning process and thinking of learning (Kontextens betydelse)

Date: 1.8.1994-31.7.1997
Code: 2461
Department: Åbo Akademi University / Faculty of Education (PF), Dept. of Teacher Education
Address: Kyrkoesplanaden 11-13 / PB 311, FIN-65101 Vasa
Phone +358-6-3247 354
Fax +358-6-3247 302
E-mail Gunilla.Eklund-Myrskog@abo.fi
Project leader: PeD Gunilla Eklund-Myrskog, lektor (1.8.1994-31.7.1997)
Type of research: 0 (0=Within duty, 1=Ordered research, 2=Co-operation)
- basic research 80 %
- applied research 10 %
- developmental work 10 %
ŇA internal financing: FIM 33000
Finnish funding organizations: Finlands Akademi () FIM 61000
Man months: Totally: 36 months
Contacts: Professor Ference Marton, Inst. för pedagogik, Göteborgs universitet; Professor Roger Säljö, TEMA-institution, Linköpings universitet; professor Yrjö Engeström, LCHC, UCSD, USA.
Keywords: inlärning, utbildningssystem, oppiminen, koulutusjärjestelmät, inlärningsuppfattning, inlärningsinriktning, inlärningsresultat, yrkesutbildning, kvalitativ forskning, learning processes, learning conception, learning approach, learning outcome, vocational eduction, qualitative research,

The main of this study is to investigate students' conceptions of learning, approaches to learning, and outcomes of learning in defferent educational contexts.In previous research quite similar variations on conceptions and approaches have been identified and it seems that culture does not determine the content of the learning experience or the way of learning in any absolute sense.However, while the context does seem to influence which aspects of the experience and approach are accentuated and which are left in the background, the question is to what extent conceptions and approaches are contextually dependent. -In the study, student nurses and car mechanic students are chosen as two groups and qualitative similarities and differences between the students are described and explaned in terms of the educational contexts; nursing education, and car mechanic education.The study is "qualitative" by its nature and the phenomenographic approach, expanded towards grounded theory, is taken as the point of departure.Data for the cross-section study are collected through individual interviews with student nurses (n=60) and car mechanic students (n=54).Groups of students are interviewed both at the beginning and the end of the educational programs. -As a result of the analysis, qualitative similarities and qualitative differences in students' conceptions, approaches and outcomes are found.Differnces among students within a program are, however, lesser than differnces among students within a program are, however, lesser than differences among student participating in different programs.In comparing groups of students' within the programs, similar trends of development can be identified.Students within both programs use more developed conceptions, approaches and outcomes at the end than at the beginning of the programs.The differences found within and between the student groups can largerly be explained in the terms of educational contexts.The results thus show that conceptions and approaches seem to be contextually dependent to some extent.


29.3.1996 / 14.8.1997