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written by Catherine Brass, Richard Gunstone, and Peter Fensham
This paper reports an exploration of the conceptions of quality learning held by two samples of physics teachers – final year, high school physics teachers and academics teaching first year university physics. We begin by outlining our view of quality learning, that is a view of learning in which learners take control of their own learning and engage with active construction and reconstruction of their own meanings for concepts and phenomena. This view of quality learning recognises the crucial role of the affective dimension of learning on the extent to which students engage with and maintain such constructivist and metacognitive approaches to learning. The study explored the qualitatively different ways in which individuals conceptualise quality learning in physics, using semi structured interviews that explored aspects of learning that the respondents regarded as worth fostering in their classrooms. The interview approach was a modification of the Interview-About-Instances approach that allowed the possibility of interviewees suggesting instances of particular relevance to their view of quality learning. This process resulted in a considerable quantity of rich and complex data related to a large range of aspects of physics learning. These data are summarised here, and the qualitatively different conceptions of the respondents with respect to four significant aspects of physics learning are discussed. These aspects are: doing experimental work; linking physics to the real world; students taking responsibility for their own learning and being confident/feeling proud of what you can do.
Research in Science Education: Volume 33, Issue 2, Pages 245-271
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