A study of student attitudes to teaching strategies aimed at encouraging autonomous learning in University level biology
This thesis examines the attitudes of students to teaching strategies that are aimed at encouraging autonomous learning in university level biology. Attitudes determine the learning which occurs within a student as he/she selects from the environment what he/she learns according to his ideas, values and feelings as well as his concepts. Attitudes may indeed lead to a rejection or acceptance of new ideas. Hence there is the need to inculcate the right attitudes in the students. Favourable attitudes to a subject could be promoted by the use of appropriate teaching strategies. The result indicated that :- (1) The students were encouraged to become autonomous in their learning and this position was more evident when the changes were made to the course in 1995/96 session. (2) The laboratory method with its many activities which serve to ensure that each student has an opportunity to participate effectively also indicated that the students were encouraged to think for themselves. (3) The tutorial method which had become more varied and frequent encouraged the students to become more free in airing their views thereby enabling them to become more independent. (4) The project method enhanced the student's ability to carry out their studies independently. (5) The organisation of the course, especially the new course, was considered very good as it facilitated their moving towards autonomy. (6) The Perry model confirmed that the changes made in the course did make a difference in students' attitudes to their learning producing a shift towards a higher degree of autonomy. The findings have shown that students were undergoing changes in their perception and approach to their study while at university.