Future directions

John Kirby, Michael Lawson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Our goal in this book has been to bring together a wide range of research addressing the improvement of the quality of learning at all levels of education. The chapters demonstrate that there is a great deal of research on the topic and that it has taken many different approaches. Our purpose in this final chapter is not to summarize the chapters, but rather to look ahead, to address issues that require further research and development. The Nature of High-Quality Learning One issue that is central to making further progress at both practical and theoretical levels is to give further attention to the features of high-quality learning. In the preceding chapters we see a good deal of agreement at a broad level about the nature of such learning: this learning will, inter alia, enable students to make knowledge their own, be generative and proactive, and display coherent and complex understandings. Yet beyond this level of broad agreement there is a need to develop more explicit and precise specifications of the nature of these understandings. For example, how should we represent complexity of knowledge? Is this complexity primarily identified by the number of knowledge elements (e.g., Fabrigar, Petty, Smith & Crites, 2006) or is it primarily indicated by the ways that knowledge elements are related (e.g., Pearsall, Skipper & Mintzes, 1997)? Both dimensions are likely to be important. One challenge now is to examine in greater detail the ways in which variations in the nature of relating operations can be represented conceptually and empirically, so that the nature of complexity can be made clearer for researchers, teachers, and students. In this respect, a solid foundation for such future investigation is provided by the SOLO taxonomy of Biggs and Collis (1982).

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEnhancing the Quality of learning
    Subtitle of host publicationDispositions, Instruction, and Learning Processes
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139048224
    ISBN (Print)9780521199421
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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