THE PREPARATION OF FUTURE TEACHERS: MODERN APPROACHES TO LEARNING
The article is devoted to the issue of approaches to learning used by prospective teachers. The key difference between two main approaches to learning — deep and surface — lies in the intention or absence of intention to understand the material. Deep approach to learning is likely to result in a high level of understanding and better learning outcomes while surface approach leads to ineffective learning. Understanding students’ approaches to learning helps adjust teaching strategies for more effective learning. The purpose of the article is to identify the approaches to learning used by prospective teachers and consider the implications for teacher trainers. The article reports findings of a survey study into the approaches to learning used by prospective teachers of the Ukrainian language and literature mastering English as a specialism at a Ukrainian university. The main research tool was a questionnaire consisting of twenty statements. Ten statements concerning deep approach include such aspects as deep approach per se, relating ideas, use of evidence, intrinsic motivation. The other ten statements relate to surface approach and include such subscales as surface approach proper, syllabus boundness, fear of failure, extrinsic motivation.
The respondents were asked to express how much they agreed with the statements using Likert scale. The data were analysed to find out mean scores and standard deviation. The findings demonstrate that students employ both approaches almost equally intensely: the mean scores of the Deep Learning Approach and the Surface Learning Approach scales are 3.64 and 3.34 correspondingly. However, according to the evaluation criteria the figures fall into different categories: deep approach has a high level of prevalence while surface approach has a moderate one. Basing on the obtained results, the authors suggest that teacher trainers should pay more attention to promoting deep learning approach through applying effective instructional strategies which improve the quality of learning; fostering students’ personal interest in learning; changing the focus of the assessment system from reproducing to understanding.
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