SRI LANKAN SENIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS’ CONCEPTIONS OF LEARNING AND APPROACHES TO LEARNING SCIENCE: IS THERE ANY RELATIONSHIP?

Lasanthi Prasadini, Junainah Abd Hamid, Ali Khatibi, S. M. Ferdous Azam

Abstract


There has been a growing research during recent years on student related cognitive factors that associated with learning process such as conceptions of and approaches to learning. Students’ conceptions as well as their learning approaches are considered as predictors of student performance. It is reported that the performance of Sri Lankan senior secondary students in the subject science is not satisfactory as expected. In this context, the analysis of their conceptions of learning and approaches to learning science provides important evidence in order to improve the performance level in students. This study was aimed to ascertain the relationship between Sri Lankan senior secondary students’ conceptions and approaches to learning science. The Conceptions of Learning Science (COLS) questionnaire and Approaches to Learning Science (ALS) questionnaire were used to assess students’ conceptions and approaches to learning respectively. The data was analysed using partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM). It was revealed that constructive conceptions of these students showed a positive relationship with deep learning approach. Conversely, a negative relationship was found between constructivist conceptions and surface approaches. The reproductive conception ‘preparing for tests’ showed a positive relationship with surface approaches to learning science. The results indicate that the learning approaches of these students can be predicted by their conceptions of learning. It provides an evidence that the meaningful learning approaches in these students can be promoted by developing constructivist conceptions in order to improve their performance in science. The findings provide important implications for curriculum developers, teacher trainers, teachers and students with respect to the improvement of science learning.

 

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conceptions of learning, learning approaches, constructivist conceptions, reproductive conceptions, deep approach, surface approach, science learning

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References


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