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Exploring and learning - Essay Example

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APPROACHES TO LEARNING NAME: INSTRUCTOR: DATE: APPROACHES TO LEARNING Learning involves the process of interaction with the world. One after or in the process of learning sees the world differently which results in conceptual change. In the same process, knowledge is created through the learning activities of a learner as well as the approach they take…
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Download file to see previous pages There are also some students who take a strategic approach, where they intend to maximize their chances of getting high marks. In today’s intellectual world, the three approaches of learning namely; deep, surface and strategic have become very popular. The surfacing issue therefore emerges on which of the three learning approaches is the most effective. This raises a very highly debatable issue. While some learners adopt a deep approach as noted by Morgan (1993), others prefer a surface approach when engaging in their studies. This paper seeks to critically analyze the three approaches of learning; deep, surface and strategic. Further, it will seek to examine how the chosen approach of learning affects the performance of a student. Marton and Saljo are the scholars behind the theory of deep and surface approaches to learning. They wrote a scholarly paper describing the varied manner in which learners approached learning in the academic sector. This studied was in the psychology department which at that time was quite unusual. This is because by default, they would have set up an artificial laboratory experiment for purposes of isolating one element from the other. Instead, Marton and Saljo sought to engage university students and their habitual behavior during learning. The students were required to read an article and thereafter answer questions based on the same. The study revealed that to some learners, the text was perceived as information with such discrete units meant to be memorized (Stanger-Hall, 2012, 294). The memorization was meant to help to answer the questions that would follow. The two scholars referred to this as the surface approach. On the other hand, some students perceived the text as one containing structured meaning. They were eager to discover the meaning of the article, its implications and the impact it had on them. They termed this as the deep approach. It follows that learners who engage in the deep approach had a better understanding of the article and were therefore able to answer a variety of question deciphered from it. In addition, they were in a better position to remember the content effectively compared to the others. Subsequent researches after this study have shown that there are different approaches to learning that students engage in while undertaking their academic tasks. A surface approach to learning can be defined as the result of low cognitive level engagement which yields to fragmented outcomes that do not translate to understanding or meaning. This process takes place when the learner takes in information ‘by heart’, but is in the least interested in engaging with the meaning of what s/he has taken. When taking this approach, the learner’s motive lies in only carrying out the task (Lauriland, 2003,47). This is due to some either positive or negative pressure/consequence. Negative in that if s/he fails, it is bound to affect his life in a not so pleasant way and positive in that if s/he passes, he will be favored by the teacher/instructor. Rote learning is a surface strategy whereby the learner focuses on what s/he perceives as the most important information and embarks on memorization of the same. Since the intention is as earlier noted to pass a test or exam, the learner finds not interconnections found in what is being learnt between meanings implications of the same. Surface learning is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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