Student Learning and Academic Understanding - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128021446, 9780128023693

Student Learning and Academic Understanding

1st Edition

A Research Perspective with Implications for Teaching

Authors: Noel Entwistle
eBook ISBN: 9780128023693
Paperback ISBN: 9780128053591
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 21st June 2018
Page Count: 398
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The research described in Student Learning and Academic Understanding had its origins in the pioneering work of Ausubel, Bruner, and McKeachie and followed two complementary lines of development. The first line extended the ideas of Marton on approaches to learning through an inventory designed to assess these approaches among large samples of students and using in-depth interviews with students about their experiences of academic understanding. The second line drew on a range of studies to explore the influences of university teaching and the whole teaching–learning environment on the quality of student learning. Taking the research as a whole shows the value of complementary research approaches to describing student learning, while the findings brought together in the final chapter suggest ways of supporting deep approaches and the development of personal academic understanding among students.

Student Learning and Academic Understanding covers a wide range of concepts that have emerged from interviews in which students use their own experiences to describe how they study and what they find most useful in developing an academic understanding of their own. These concepts differ from the traditional psychological concepts by being focused on the specific contexts of university and college, although they are also relevant to the later stages of school education.

Key Features

  • Explains the origins, meanings, and relevance of "deep" and "surface" approaches to learning
  • Introduces an array of concepts derived from the specific contexts of university education
  • Illustrates how in-depth interviewing can be used to explore students’ ways of thinking
  • Provides a series of heuristic models to guide thinking about the influences on student learning
  • Includes an inventory on approaches to studying and experiences of teaching for use by teachers


Students and researchers in educational psychology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology

Table of Contents

  1. The evolution of psychological concepts describing human learning
    2. Predicting academic performance using psychological measures
    3. Using interviews to describe the development of students’ learning
    4. Approaches to learning and learning styles
    5. Strategic approaches to studying
    6. Forms of understanding and knowledge objects
    7. Measuring approaches to learning and studying
    8. Influences on approaches to learning and studying
    9. Implications of the research findings
    Appendix: Inventories used to assess different approaches, and a description of phenomenographic interviewing and analysis


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© Academic Press 2018
Academic Press
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About the Author

Noel Entwistle

Noel Entwistle, PhD, was the Bell Professor of Education in the University of Edinburgh from 1978 until 2005 and previously Professor of Educational Research in the University of Lancaster. With his original degree in physics, Dr. Entwistle taught physics for three years before moving into educational research at the University of Aberdeen where he obtained a PhD in educational psychology. Subsequently, Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Society for Research into Higher Education an the Scottish Council for Resarch in Education with honary doctorates from Gothenburg and Turku. Editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology and the international journal, Higher Education.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

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