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Title: Effective and reflective student learning : assessing the contribution of a meta-learning programme on secondary aged students, within a dialogue teaching context
Author: Lubel, Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 1658
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2007
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The purpose of this study was to identify the possible benefits of combining together the teacher focused approach of Dialogic Teaching (a talk-based teaching approach) and the student focused approach of meta-learning (or learning about one's learning). Both of these models (i. e. Dialogic Teaching and meta-learning) have a strong conceptual and theoretical basis to them, which support the development of student's learning. But they each have a different emphasis, one being teacher led, the other being student led. The study took place in a secondary school and centred on assessing the contribution of a meta-learning programme on the secondary aged students within their Dialogic Teaching context. The researcher compared four classes. All of the classes had Dialogic Teaching as their main teaching method, but only two of the classes received the meta-learning programme. The materials developed for the meta-learning programme were based on published materials (i. e. Watkins, Carnell, Lodge, Wagner & Whalley, 2000; and Watkins, 2003) and involved the students reflecting upon the purposes, strategies, effects, feelings and context of their learning. A parallel, simultaneous, mixed-method design was used with the researcher comparing the data from both before and after the programme, on qualitative and quantitative measures. The quantitative measures used within the study were: a specifically designed Dialogic Teaching Scale; the Myself as Learner Scale (MALS; Burden, 1998); and numerical achievement data (SATs). The qualitative measure included an open-ended written task, entitled the Me as a Learner sheet. Data were collected at the start of the study (in November), with follow-up data collected at the end of the study (in the following July). With regard to the quantitative data, the students who received the metalearning programme within a Dialogic Teaching setting did not show a significantly greater increase in positive responses (as compared to the control group), on the four outcome measures (i. e. SAT Literacy, SAT Speaking and Listening, MALS and Dialogic Teaching Scale). The qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. A process of inductive coding was undertaken, with the data assigned to a series of categories, which were grouped into category headings and then into three themes. Following this, a process of quantitative content analysis was undertaken, in order to count the frequency of student's comments in each of the categories. The results showed that the intervention group of students demonstrated a greater increase in responses in relation to the two themes that related to reflective thinking, whereas the control group of students provided more responses within the theme that centred on factual information. In particular the data highlighted that the intervention group of students provided more references to: cognitive factors (i. e. the skills and strategies that help them learn); affective factors (i. e. their feelings in relation to learning); motivational factors (i. e. how motivations affect learning); behavioural factors (i. e. their actions and outcomes that affect their learning); environmental factors (i. e. differences in learning in different contexts or environments); and social factors (i. e. the benefits of learning with others). As the students who received the meta-learning programme included more direct references (in their texts) to the social aspect of learning, this research suggests the possibility that linking these two areas together has therefore impacted upon the students, in relation to their greater awareness of the positive benefits of learning with others. The thesis concludes with recommendations for both Educational Psychology practice, as well as general educational practice. This includes a proposed framework for introducing the meta-learning process within a school setting. This framework highlights: school level; teacher level; and student level factors in relation to the specific teaching contexts which students are part of.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available