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The influence of individuals' beliefs about learning and nature of knowledge on educating a competent workforce

Pillay, Hitendra K., Brownlee, Joanne M., & McCrindle, Andrea R. (1998) The influence of individuals' beliefs about learning and nature of knowledge on educating a competent workforce. Journal of Education and Work, 11(3), pp. 239-254.

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Abstract

In light of recent initiatives in re-engineering training and workplace education and the multitude of programmes that have since evolved, there is still a lack of evidence that the new initiatives developed by the Australian government facilitate better learning outcomes. The current focus may increase participation of workers in training programmes but there is still a need to consider the micro processes in learning and instruction that influence the quality of learning outcomes. Two such micro processes are investigated in the study reported in this article. Firstly, the relationship between trainees' beliefs about knowledge and learning and learning outcomes is investigated and secondly, beliefs and learning outcomes of trainees who gained entry into the programmes via work experience and those who enrolled directly from secondary schools are compared. Twenty-three male students enrolled in an electronics subject at a tertiary institution were interviewed regarding their beliefs about learning and later tested on a problem task. The trainees indicated unsophisticated conceptions of learning which were also reflected in their poor learning outcomes as measured by knowledge representations. The comparisons of work experience and non-work experience trainees indicated no difference in their beliefs about learning and the learning outcomes. The results, on the whole, demonstrated a limited knowledge base by all trainees when compared to the knowledge necessary to solve the problem task as determined from experts' knowledge representation. The findings indicate that the current initiatives may not be producing a competent workforce. Though the sample involved in the study is small, the results suggest that a closer look at the training reform process is warranted, especially at the learning and instruction phase.

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ID Code: 12300
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
DOI: 10.1080/1363908980110302
ISSN: 1469-9435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Learning Sciences (130309)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Journal of Education and Work 11(3):pp. 239-254.
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 11:04

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