How academic knowledge can support practice learning: A case study of learning styles.

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This paper focuses on the Department of Health (2002) statement that academic knowledge should be used to support practice learning. Debates around linking theory and practice and knowledge as product and process are discussed. The particular emphasis is on critically analysing whether academic knowledge about learning styles - a form of 'process knowledge' – can be effectively utilised and therefore relevant to supporting the process of practice teaching. A small-scale qualitative research study with practice teachers andstudents is presented as a way of exploring this.

The findings of this research suggest that information about learning styles can be of practical relevance to practice teachers in promoting effective student learning. The key finding here is that its relevance isdetermined primarily by how such knowledge is utilised in practice. It is crucial whether practice teachers perceive information about their student's learning styles asproduct knowledge (something they possess but do not necessarily employ) or process knowledge (something which usefully describes part of the process they are engaged in).


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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