Exploring the lifelong learner qualities of post-diploma learners pursuing a degree

Yuen Lie Lim (2008). Exploring the lifelong learner qualities of post-diploma learners pursuing a degree MPhil Thesis, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

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Author Yuen Lie Lim
Thesis Title Exploring the lifelong learner qualities of post-diploma learners pursuing a degree
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-08
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Katie Makar
Nan Bahr
A/Prof Donna Pendergast
Total pages 157
Total colour pages 11
Total black and white pages 147
Subjects 330000 Education
Abstract/Summary Rapid technological advances and globalization have resulted in the rise of the information era and with it, the emergence of knowledge economies and the call to lifelong learning viewed as necessary for producing skilled workers. This study examines the characteristics of lifelong learners in different environments, in order to understand how education contributes to the development of the lifelong learner, as well as how active pedagogical approaches, namely problem-based learning, may be especially beneficial for developing the lifelong learner. Using a mixed-methods research approach, this exploratory study was conducted on a sample of polytechnic graduates from Singapore who were continuing their learning in bachelor degree programs at different universities. It was guided by a framework of four main attributes which were identified as possible descriptors of the lifelong learner: capacity for self-directed learning, motivation, metacognitive awareness, and learner disposition. Quantitative data were collected via responses to an instrument, the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS), while quantitative data were collected through interviews, to capture in-depth information about individuals’ lifelong learner attributes as well as to probe into their experiences in Singapore’s formal education system that enabled (or hindered) their lifelong learner development. The data generated from the survey and interviews indicated that this group of young learners from Singapore who were continuing their learning journey did manifest some of the qualities of effective lifelong learners. However, there was also some suggestion that their engagement in lifelong learning was not so much from an intrinsic love for learning, but more out of compulsion because of the better job prospects that came with it. Also, despite the aim of the Singapore Ministry of Education to develop lifelong learners under the policy umbrella of Teaching Schools, Learning Nation (TSLN), learners’ experiences suggest that reforms have not reached all secondary schools to the same extent, and that many government schools were still using more didactic teaching rather than learner-centred pedagogies. Cross-case analyses found that the experience of problem-based learning seemed to equip learners with more self-direction in learning, more intrinsic motivation to learn, and a greater metacognitive awareness. At the same time, the positive outcomes of this pedagogy appear to be mediated by the learner’s own readiness for self-directed learning: learners with lower readiness for self-directed learning appeared to be less able to enjoy the learning benefits of problem-based learning. The study concluded with implications of these findings for the Singapore education system, as well as on problem-based learning as a pedagogy for developing lifelong learners.
Keyword lifelong learning
problem-based learn
Educational Policy
knowledge economy
Additional Notes Colour pages: 20, 34, 40, 49, 54, 67, 70, 76, 95, 99, 102 Landscape pages: 85, 87, 88

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Created: Tue, 02 Jun 2009, 11:53:37 EST by Ms Yuen Lie Lim on behalf of Library - Information Access Service