Surface approach to learning is predominant in VET: learners explain why

Choy, Sarojni C. & Delahaye, Brian L. (2001) Surface approach to learning is predominant in VET: learners explain why. In 9th International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training, 3-5 December 2001, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.


Students' learning approaches are illustrated by the manner in which they handle learning materials. There are three basic approaches to learning, surface, deep and achieving. A particular learning approach is a result of the combination between the motive and strategy that is used to accomplish a learning task (Biggs 1987). A deep approach to learning is espoused by adult educators because it is more likely to help accomplish qualitatively superior learning outcomes (Watkins 1983). The study reported in this paper investigated the learning approaches of youth (aged 17-24 years) enrolled with Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institutions. The Study Process Questionnaire was completed by 266 youths from four different TAFE institutes representing metropolitan and regional areas. The results showed that a majority of youth learners have a surface approach to learning. Their surface scores were consistently higher than the deep and achieving scores irrespective of the sample's gender or the type of qualification they were pursuing. To gain an understanding of why this approach was so prominent, the survey result was presented to focus groups of youth who were requested to explain their position. Youth identified several factors that contributed to a predominant surface approach to learning.

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ID Code: 7256
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: For more information, please contact the author:
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 1875378413
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified (130399)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 (The authors)
Deposited On: 01 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2009 07:29

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