The significance of knowledge in learning: a psychologically informed analysis of higher education students' perceptions

Effie Maclellan, Rebecca Soden

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    The emergence of what is increasingly becoming known as the knowledge age implies that higher education should prepare students to be, primarily, knowledge workers. This proposition triggered a small scale study in which structured interviews were carried out with 25 second-year undergraduates registered for a psychology module on motivational theory. The purpose of the interview was to discern students’ views on the features of dialogue/talk and of student study behaviour that help them to develop usable knowledge. The dominant finding was that students did not perceive their learning to be facilitated through being required to be cognitively active in processing new information. Rather, they perceived their learning to be most effective when new knowledge was made available to them. The findings are discussed in terms of the complexity of the prior knowledge base on which the success of constructivist approaches depends.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • knowledge
    • learning
    • education
    • higher education

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