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Metaleaming: PGCE students learning about learning

Jellis, Christopher Henry (2006) Metaleaming: PGCE students learning about learning. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



As students, trainee teachers are required to reflect upon and take ownership of their own learning, but because of their future position as teachers, they also have to understand the learning of others. Trainee teachers have many ideas about teaching, but unless they have previous experience in the field, it is likely that their main understanding of what constitutes teaching and learning will be from their experiences of themselves as students. Many trainee teachers follow an uninterrupted route from school to university and then straight onto a PGCE course and will throughout their time in education have been experiencing teaching only from one direction 一 that of a student. During this time, many will develop ideas about what teachers actually do, but since a lot of what teachers do is preparation outside of the classroom, can students really get a balanced idea of the working life of a teacher? Trainee teachers, and indeed all postgraduate students need to reflect on their own learning in order to maximise their ability to assimilate and understand new information. This is the idea behind the concept of metalearning. Metalearning is a comparatively new phrase and as such, its meaning is still evolving. Originally defined by John Biggs (1985) as a process of being aware, and taking control, of one's own learning, it has subsequently been revisited and redefined. Some authors equate the concept with a practical form of metacognition, others with ideas involving reflective practice whilst others consider the phrase to mean "learning about learning" (Jackson, 2004). In the text which follows, the word is taken to mean "learning about learning" which could, in many cases be shown to subsume both the metacognitive and reflective theories. In any case, it is a very apt description of the principal role of trainee teachers. This longitudinal study tracks a group of trainee teachers following a PGCE course in order to observe their development and understanding of learning, both their own and that of their pupils and also to gain some insights into the experience of being a PGCE student in the 21 St Century.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:34

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