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Conceptions of teaching and their relationship to student learning

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:48 authored by Gow, L, David KemberDavid Kember
It is now well established that students can hold differing, but readily identifiable, conceptions of learning. This study attempted to discover whether parallel conceptions of teaching can be identified and, if so, whether they are related to student learning outcomes. Initial investigation was through semi‐structured interviews with lecturers at a polytechnic. Constructs identified from the interview transcript were transformed into scales for a questionnaire. Different sets of polytechnic lecturers responded to trial and final versions of the questionnaire. Analysis of the final version of the questionnaire identified two main orientations to teaching — learning facilitation and knowledge transmission — made up of five and four subscales respectively. Mean scores for the two orientations were then computed for 16 departments in two institutions. The departmental scores were found to correlate with data on student learning from longitudinal surveys employing repeated applications of the Study Process Questionnaire. Departments with high scores on knowledge transmission discouraged students from adopting a deep approach to study. Departments in which learning facilitation predominated seemed less likely to induce surface approaches.


Publication title

British Journal of Educational Psychology




Faculty of Education


British Psychological Soc

Place of publication

St Andrews House, 48 Princess Rd East, Leicester, England, Leics, Le1 7Dr

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Teacher and instructor development

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