Mature Learners & School Leavers: Exploring Learning Approaches of First Year Pre-Service Teachers


This paper compares the learning approaches of pre-service teachers on an undergraduate Bachelor of Education Primary Teaching programme. The study examined differences between mature learners and school leavers. Results were obtained from a quantitative survey of 260 pre-service teachers. In the first phase of the research, the participants completed a modified Learning Approach inventory. Following the quantitative phase, group interviews were conducted to gain additional insights into the factors which impacted learning approach. Differences were identified between both learning cohorts. A number of categories contributed to learning among both groups. These included; motivation to learn, seeking feedback, collaborative and competitive learning, the impact of prior educational experiences and the role of school placement. This paper highlights the potential mutual benefits of greater integration and peer-learning among both cohorts of learners. This opportunity offers scope for additional and deeper learning in the transition to becoming a teacher. This is especially important in the midst of significant curricular change in the Irish Educational landscape.

Author Information
Anne O' Dwyer, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland
Miriam Hamilton, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2018
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon