Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students' conceptions of formal learning and experiences of informal learning

Boulton-Lewis, Gillian M., Marton, Ference, Lewis, David C. and Wilss, Lynn A. (2000) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students' conceptions of formal learning and experiences of informal learning. Higher Education, 39 4: 469-488.


Author Boulton-Lewis, Gillian M.
Marton, Ference
Lewis, David C.
Wilss, Lynn A.
Title Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students' conceptions of formal learning and experiences of informal learning
Journal name Higher Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0018-1560
1573-174X
Publication date 2000-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1023/A:1004060422023
Volume 39
Issue 4
Start page 469
End page 488
Total pages 20
Place of publication Amsterdam
Publisher Kluwer
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Subject C1
321207 Indigenous Health
730301 Health education and promotion
Abstract This paper describes an investigation of conceptions of learning held by 22 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from three universities in Queensland, Australia. Other areas investigated were students' experiences of informal learning, their reasons for studying and the strategies they used to learn. Research into conceptions of learning is gaining impetus and current beliefs include the premise that approaches to learning adopted by university students, and hence learning outcomes, are closely related to their conceptions of learning. There is substantial research focused on Aboriginal learning styles in early childhood and primary school which indicates that Aboriginal children prefer to learn in a practical way as well as through observation and imitation and trial and error. Very little research has focused specifically on Aboriginal university students' conceptions of learning. Results of this study found that these students view and approach formal university learning in much the same way as other university students and most hold quantitative conceptions of learning. The most interesting result was the difference between students' conceptions of formal learning and their experiences of informal learning. Many students' experiences of informal learning were grounded in practical activities or exhibited a cultural focus, however, most formal learning is not dependent upon practical or cultural knowledge. It is proposed that formal learning for Indigenous students recognise and include an Indigenous perspective such as integrating, where appropriate, practical strategies for learning. We also suggest that Indigenous students be helped to develop conceptions that will enable them to learn formal, theoretical material successfully.
Keyword Education & Educational Research
Knowledge
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Medicine Publications
School of Education Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 11:09:03 EST