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TitleRelationships between students' reactions towards problem-based learning and their learning styles : implications for science teaching and teacher education
Author(s)Leite, Laurinda
Dourado, Luís Gonzaga Pereira
Esteves, Esmeralda
Issue date2011
PublisherAssociation for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE)
Abstract(s)Learning may be conceptualized as the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. The ways people use to learn depend on their learning style, being some of the learning styles better facilitators of autonomous learning than others. Kolb classifies people according to their learning styles, as follows: converger, a person whose greatest strength lies in the practical application of ideas; diverger, a person whose greatest strength lies in creativity and imaginative ability; assimilator, a person whose greatest strength lies in the ability to understand and create theories; accommodator, a person whose greatest strength lies in carrying out plans and experiments and involving themselves in new experiences. Honey-Alonso also classified people in categories according to their learning style. These categories relate to Kolb’s ones as follows: convergers are pragmatic; assimilators are theoretical; divergers are reflective; and accommodators are active. Science problem based learning is a teaching approach that requires students to learn «new» ideas by solving problems. Hence, it requires students to engage actively in the learning tasks, to take initiative and to be reflective. However, the activities to be developed within a PBL setting may be more consistent with certain learning styles than with others. Bearing in mind that students usually feel uncomfortable with the lack of guidance given to them in PBLbased classroom settings, this paper tries to find out whether there is a relationship between learning styles and students’ reactions towards PBL. Data were collected from 9th graders (two classes) that had learned the physical sciences topic Electricity through a PBL approach. The subjects answered to a questionnaire on pupils reactions towards PBL and to another questionnaire (CHEAE) on learning styles. Data analysis being carried out includes classification of students with regard to both their reactions towards PBL and their learning styles. Afterwards, the relationship between the two will be studied. The results of this study will be useful for teachers to deal with the diversity of students that will participate in future research focusing on PBL-based science learning, As this methodology match better to certain learning styles than to others, teachers my need to find ways of attending to the diversity of their students’ learning styles.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CIEd - Textos em volumes de atas de encontros científicos nacionais e internacionais

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