Approaches to studying, conceptions of learning and learning styles in higher education

Richardson, John T. E. (2011). Approaches to studying, conceptions of learning and learning styles in higher education. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(3) pp. 288–293.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2010.11.015

Abstract

Learning styles have been construed in different ways but traditionally have been regarded as relatively stable. In contrast, the "student approaches to learning" perspective tends to assume that approaches to studying are contextually driven. This article argues for a rapprochement between these two traditions. First, the evidence that students' perceptions of their context determine their approaches to studying is open to other interpretations. Second, students' approaches to studying depend as much on their conceptions of learning as on contextual factors. Third, students' conceptions of learning seem to be relatively stable, even across an entire degree programme. This suggests that conceptions of learning fit the traditional notion of learning styles. Future research should explore the conceptual and empirical relationships between students' learning styles and their conceptions of learning.

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