In this research we were interested in how students of the pedagogical study programs view learning from the viewpoint of five dimensions of the process-oriented perception of learning, which are the regulation of learning, perception of knowledge, perception of learning, perception of capability, tolerance to uncertainty. We will present this viewpoints.
Regulation of Learning
Why is it important for teachers to perceive learning as a self-regulated process? Research (Pintrich, Marx & Boyle, 1993, Hofer, Yu & Pintrich, 1998, Rotgans & Schmidt, 2009) shows that the more challenging the learning is (this is especially evident in problem based learning), and the more mentally and emotionally engaged students have to be, the more prominent the construct of the origin of control becomes. Students, who accept internal regulation and believe that they can affect and control their learning process perform better in learning situations and are more involved in solving discrepancies between prior knowledge and new situations.
Perception of knowledge
The teacher’s conception of knowledge helps to shape not only his/her conception of learning and of learning methods, but also his/her conception of teaching and teaching strategies. In this way the teacher significantly influences students' conceptions. Active learning is being increasingly emphasized as important. As noted by various authors (see Stern, 1997), there is a higher probability of students' understanding and retaining information, if they actively use it. Furthermore, it has been proven that students’ understanding of knowledge is related to the cognitive processes that take place during the process of learning (see Hofer & Pintrich, 1997). The thesis in Bolhuis and Voeten’s (2004) study was that the student’s active formation of knowledge is in opposition to the acquisition of knowledge as a unit that can be reproduced.
Perception of learning
In the context of this dimension, Bolhuis and Voeten (2004) allege that teachers with a more traditional view are convinced that learning is an individual process, during which students develop individually. Teachers, who are more process-oriented emphasise the importance of students learning with others and from others. They are certain that these students achieve better learning outcomes.
Perception of abilities
The teacher’s view of knowledge and abilities plays a crucial role in the choice of learning and teaching strategies. Teachers with a dynamic view of knowledge search for abilities; they permit different learning pathways and also create learning pathways. As stated by Dweck (1988) and Wong (1991) (quoted in Bolhuis & Voeten, 2004), knowledge is the result of learning by means of experience. In connection with the learning process of the teacher, this aspect can be perceived as the opportunity and potential for (personal) growth and constant learning throughout his/her professional career.
Tolerance of uncertainty
In connection with the internal regulation of learning, one further aspect is important: tolerance of conflict and uncertainty. As the results of the research conducted by Huber and Roth (1999, 2003) show, teachers with lower thresholds of tolerance for conflict and uncertainty more often use the established methods and strategies to which they are used. Moreover, these teachers do not stimulate individual learning. Furthermore, this aspect is important because a teacher’s professional development cannot be limited only to the development of skills and to the accumulation of knowledge and experience. Also crucial is personal growth, which means that the teacher develops into a reflective practitioner, characterized by flexibility, the ability to distinguish between emotions, respect for individuality, tolerance of conflict and uncertainty, cultivation of personal relationships and a wider perspective on society (Witherell & Erickson, 1978; quoted in Zuzovsky, 1990: 4).
Bolhuis, S., & Voeten, M. J. M. (2004). Teachers' conception of student learning and own learning. Teachers and teaching: theory and practice, 10 (1), 77 – 98. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power Analysis for the behavioral Sciences. New York: Academic Press. Hoskins, B., & Fredriksson, U. (2008). Learning to learn: What is it and can it be measured? Luxembourg: European Commission Joint Research Centre. Huber, G. L., & Roth, J. H. W. (2003). Active learning form passive teachers? In B.H.J. Smit (Eds.), New Directions in Teachers’ Working and Learning Environment: Proceedings of the 11th Biennial Conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching. Leiden: ISATT. Javornik Krečič, M. (2008). Pomen učiteljevega profesionalnega razvoja za pouk. Ljubljana: I2. McCormick, R. (2006). Learning to learn: learning, teachers and schools. In U. Fredriksson & B. Hoskins (Eds.), Research Network on learning to learn: Second Network Meeeting Report (pp. 38-46), Ispra: CRELL. Simons, R. J. (1997). Definitions and Theories of Active Learning. In D. Stern, & G. L. Huber (Eds.), Active Learning for Students and Teachers. Report from Eight Countries OECD (pp. 19-39), Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
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