Learning at the University - conceptions of university teachers

Elisa Chaleta, Margarida Saraiva


This study investigates the conceptions of university teachers linked to the initial formation of teachers about what it is to learn at the University. The qualitative phenomenographic study presented was carried out with ten university teachers with more than 15 years of professional activity at the University and with an average age of 52 years, nine of whom are female and one male. The results showed stability in the conceptions of learning compared to previous studies; two main macro categories have been identified: superficial conceptions and deep conceptions. Learning conceptions were also identified as a process and as the development of social skills. In summary, teachers expressed different meanings of learning, and it should be noted that learning emerged conceptualized in a multidimensional and multifaceted way. In this group of teachers, different ways of conceptualizing learning are found, so the results point to the coexistence in the same subject of several conceptions about what it is to learn, and not a hierarchical structure of the conceptions in which the reproductive or superficial conception appears as subordinate to the transformative or profound conception. The results point to an inter-correlated model as a better descriptor of teachers' thinking about the nature of learning given the plurality of conceptions.


Conceptions of learning; superficial and deep conceptions; university teachers; higher education; phenomenographic approach

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/aca.3524

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