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Title: New dogs old tricks : the influence and impact of learning styles preferences on the learning and development of PGCE English trainees
Author: Woods, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2713 6901
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the learning styles preferences of secondary PGCE trainees (n=316) using a mixed methods approach. Having reviewed the literature, it builds meaningfully on the relatively little that is known about the learning styles preferences of trainee secondary teachers in England. Its originality lies in the way it then explores the ‘lived experience’ of trainee English teachers (n=12) in relation to their self-reported learning styles preferences over a nine month period. Using data from Felder and Solomon’s (1994) Index of Learning Styles (ILS) questionnaire, it considers whether the learning styles preferences of English, mathematics and science trainees differ according to subject specialism. Subsequently, using a series of three in-depth phenomenologically based interviews, it examines the learning journeys of the English trainees and considers to what extent their learning styles preferences impact on their learning and development as teachers. Quantitative analysis of the data from the ILS questionnaire, using descriptive statistics only, indicates that there are ‘typical’ and ‘atypical’ learning styles preferences for trainees in different subject disciplines. In particular, these can be seen in relation to the sensingintuitive and the visual-verbal learning styles dimensions of the ILS. Qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts indicates that the learning styles preferences of the English trainees consistently shape their attitudes towards/and experience of learning and development. The influence of their learning styles preferences is apparent in their memories of prior education and learning, their evaluations of university and school based teacher training and the choices they make as teachers in the classroom. The thesis concludes by making a number of suggestions for future research. It also offers several recommendations about the effective use of information about learning styles preferences for policy makers, initial teacher educators and providers of continuing professional development.
Supervisor: Byrne, Jennifer Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools ; LB2300 Higher Education