Students' Developing Conceptions of Knowledge: Insights from a longitudinal study in Chemistry
How do students conceptualise the knowledge of their disciplines? How does that change through their years of study? Can these changes explain something about students' learning experience? Is it a transformative learning experience, as intended by our SU strategic vision 2040? Studies have shown that students' relations to knowledge play crucial roles in understanding the transformative nature of higher education. Changes in their concepts of the discipline over time, can be informative. This talk arises from a four-year longitudinal study of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering students at six institutions across SA, UK and the USA. Using a phenomenographic approach to analyse students' responses to questions of how they would describe chemistry. The study looks at how these responses develop over time and other factors that appear to correlate with the development. The research team for this project is led by Paul Ashwin and the work builds on a previous study on sociology students.
Dr Margaret Blackie is a senior lecturer in Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science. She is a holder of an SU Teaching Fellowship, and recipient of the SU Teaching Excellence Award in the Distinguished Teacher category in 2020. She also received the South African Chemical Institute's Education Medal in 2020.
When: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 12:45-13:45 (UTC+02:00) Harare, Pretoria.
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Dr Blackie refers to the following reading in her Auxin presentation:
- Ashwin, P., Abbas, A. and McLean, M., 2014. How do students' accounts of sociology change over the course of their undergraduate degrees?. Higher Education, 67(2), pp.219-234. DOI 10.1007/s10734-013-9659-z