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Learning styles and retention and achievement on a two-year A-level programme in a Further Education College

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This article reports on a longitudinal study of the relationship between teaching and learning styles and retention and achievement on an A-level programme in a college of further education. Honey and Mumford's (1986) learning styles questionnaire was completed by A-level students at the beginning of their programme of study and their scores as activists, pragmatists, reflectors and theorists were recorded. The A-level tutors completed a teaching styles questionnaire and their scores were also recorded. The majority of A-level students and tutors were reflectors. Students who withdrew within their first year and between the first and second years of study were interviewed about their reasons for withdrawal. The findings were that a larger number of activists withdrew in the early stages of their study than would be expected by their representation in the overall cohort. The students' final results, in terms of high raw scores and results above what would be expected based on GCSE performance, were compared with their learning styles. In this cohort of students it was found that having a high theorist tendency is beneficial to this type of academic study.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Hertfordshire, Watford Campus, Wall Hall, Aldenham, Watford, Herts WD2 8AT, UK. Learning and Skills Development Agency, UK

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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