PROFESSORS' BELIEFS ABOUT STUDENT LEARNING

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jeffrey Robert Hart (Creator)
Institution
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/

Abstract: This study is an exploratory qualitative study of college professors' beliefs about the psychological learning constructs of motivation, attention, memory, and learning strategies. I interviewed professors about their beliefs on these psychological learning constructs and interpreted their espoused beliefs and presented them in conceptual themes pertinent to the aforementioned constructs. I analyzed professor-submitted course syllabi for content to ascertain professors' beliefs about motivation, attention, memory, and learning strategies and also for evidence of how their beliefs about these learning constructs reflect in their practice of teaching.Findings suggest most professors in the study espouse beliefs that support increasing intrinsic motivation in their students. However, some appear to attempt to increase motivation extrinsically. Syllabi analysis suggests professors' espoused beliefs about motivation are congruent with their practice, but not in every case. Most professors in the study appear to view attention as a cognitive construct that requires novelty and variety to be maintained. Some professors seem to encourage attention in their students through reinforcement. Many professors view memory as a cognitive construct that requires students to actively reconstruct old knowledge and new knowledge for learning to occur. Finally, many professors in this study espouse beliefs that suggest students use a variety of learning strategies to engage with learning material-learning strategies that professors also attempt to capitalize on by structuring learning situations that promote and encourage students to use different learning strategies and styles they may find useful in learning.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2005

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