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Title: Meeting of Minds - Clashing of Cultures: evolution of teaching practice to engage students as co-learners
Contributor(s): Lobry De Bruyn, Lisa  (author)orcid ; Prior, Julian C  (author)
Publication Date: 2001
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The authors present their own experiences, strategies and reflections in attempting to engage students as co-learners in two units-Land Evaluation and Land Degradation (Lobry de Bruyn), and Rural Extension Science (Prior) - over a period of several years. We have used several techniques within our units to involve students in the learning process in order to shift the emphasis from what we will do as lecturers towards what students can achieve in terms of their own learning outcomes. Many of our approaches have been adapted from adult learning principles such as those outlined below (adapted from Onsman, 1991): 1. Adults learn by doing 2. Adults learn when they have a perceived need to learn 3. Adults learn by solving problems 4. Different adults learn in different ways (e.g. three modalities of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learning) 5. Adults like variety in their learning activities 6. Adults want feedback in their performance 7. Adults want to apply what they learn 8. Adults learn when the learning fits their value systems 9 Adults already know a great deal (viz. "Prior Learning", "Indigenous Technical Knowledge"). We have found that each of these principles has enormous implications for student involvement within the learning process. To ignore them is to risk student indifference. Students who feel that their learning needs are being met are more likely to be involved in and enjoy the learning process. Students are essentially "voluntary learners" although not always self-directed in their learning. One of the important issues in adopting a content-focussed approach rather than a student-centred approach is that students are implicitly discouraged from being self-directed in their learning. For this reason, students have not always been willing participants in the incremental evolution of our teaching practice towards more interactive, active learning approaches. We have both encountered varying degrees of student resistance to the "new approach" and varying student acknowledgment that learning is a "two-way" process that requires equivalent input from them. From class discussions we find that many of the students view the lecturer's role as being transmissive and their role as being passive and reproductive.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: Learning Partnerships, Newcastle, Australia, 8-11 July, 2001
Source of Publication: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference of HERDSA 2001, p. 1-10
Publisher: University of Newcastle
Place of Publication: Newcastle, Australia
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130103 Higher Education
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E1 Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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