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Effective Learning And Learning Styles Education Essay

This section presents a wide range of issues identified from a non-exhaustive search into the existing body of literature focusing on the central issue of this study. The review is aimed at feeding into the conceptual / theoretical framework that will be used towards critically examining and interpreting primary data gathered as specified in the next section. Concepts, theories and models relevant to the stated problem and research questions are included along with critical reflections whenever judged appropriate.

ISSUES COVERED IN THE REVIEW

Based on the title, the aims and objectives and the research questions of this action research project, the body of literature covered in this section will focus on:

Theories of Learning,

Effective Learning and Learning Styles

Mind Mapping

Research on the Teaching/Learning of Ratio Analysis (Accounting)

Action Research

2.2 LEARNING THEORIES

There have been many studies and experimentation to understand the processes of learning and teaching. Various theories on learning and teaching have evolved as a result of those studies and analyses. The theories of learning aim at explaining the nature of the process of learning, whereas the theories of teaching are concerned with effective teaching leading to the development of the learner.

Learning theories are concerned with the psychological characteristics of the learners and analysis of the nature of learning, whereas teaching theories operate in social and cultural settings (Woolfolk, 1998). Learning theories explain the interactions among the variables in the learning situations and the teaching theories devise methods and models to achieve effective learning in such situations.

2.3 EFFECTIVE LEARNING AND LEARNING STYLES

As a matter of fact, proponents of learning styles have contended that teachers should assess the learning styles of their students and adapt their instructional approaches and strategies to best fit the needs and expectations of learners (Dunn and Dunn, 1978).

Otherwise, the Honey and Mumford’s Model for learning Style (1982) made two adaptations to Kolb’s Experiential Model with these stages of the following cycle:

Having an experience

Reviewing the experience

Concluding from the experience

Planning the next stages

Some aspects regarding individual learning styles have already been hinted at in the opening chapter. Also, the fact cannot be ignored that each student is not alike in their learning approaches or styles as well as in their support requirements. For this reason it is obvious that any environment which can be deemed to be best for one learner, does not mean that it will be applicable to all learners. For instance, while some students barely need support once they have been provided with guidelines or advice towards quality and appropriate resources, other students may require much more support since they may not be able to adapt to the format. Usually it depends on the teacher to create or bring changes in the environment so that the students can be kept actively learning.

As has been pointed out by Smith (1997), it falls upon the teacher to constantly recreate the instructional process and offer a variety of choices for approaching information and tasks in order to meet the learner's ever changing, individual needs.

Considering the advantages of the existing educational system the students are able to interact with the teacher personally and may clarify any queries when face-to-face to the teacher. In other words since the students get personal contact with the teacher, they can rely on their teacher to help them solve any problem on the spot.

Moreover, since the teacher as well, interacts with the students, this provides opportunity to test the ability as well as the comprehension of the students (Smith, 1997).

MIND MAPPING

According to Winter (2004), a mind map basically refers to a diagram used for the purpose of outlining information visually. Mind maps are often created around a single word or text that is placed in the centre. To this focus word or text other ideas, words and concepts are eventually annexed. As a rule, major categories are made to radiate from a central node, with categories of lesser importance depicted through sub-branches of the larger and obviously more important branches Winter (2004). These categories hence can depict words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to the central key word or idea.

Mind maps according to Buzan (2000), depart from the traditional way of taking notes, whether for a lecture or when reading a book. In these cases, the approach consist in following the chronological sequence of the author's thought, and summarizing the content of the book or lecture, often by resorting to sentences and phrases instead of just keywords.

Mind maps offer an alternative approach. Here, the technique is based on working with both halves of the brain by harnessing its powers of visualization and association, thereby improving both memory and creative thinking (Buzan, 2000).

Definition

Mind mapping, again according to Buzan (2000) represents a way of linking key concepts using images, lines and links. A central concept is linked via lines to other concepts which in turn are linked with other associated ideas. This technique is similar to concept mapping and spider diagramming. The difference is that true mind mapping implies constructing a hierarchy of ideas instead of pure random linking.

Mind mapping uses the concept of radiant thinking – that is, thoughts radiate out from a single idea, often expressed as an image. Branches flow backwards and forwards from and to the central idea.

Mind maps can be drawn by hand. For instance, they can be either as rough notes taken during a lecture or meeting. Or, they can be elaborated as higher quality pictures when more time is available (Willis, 2006).

Other terms that are closely linked to mind mapping are:

Spider diagrams, spidergrams, spidergraphs, webs, mind webs, or webbing, and idea sun bursting (Willis, 2006).

The popularization of mind mapping is attributed to Buzan (1974).

2.4.1 The Origins of The Mind Map

Prior to Buzan's popularization, the term "mind map" finds its roots as far back as at least a century ago (Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012).

Diagrams were used to visually map information by using branching and radial maps. These pictorial or visual methods were resorted to for the purpose of recording knowledge and model systems.

Otherwise there is also evidence of a long history in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others (Knowledge Board, 2010).

According to the same source, a few of the earliest illustrations of such graphical records are said to have been developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a recognised thinker of the third century. He is reported to have developed the technique of graphically visualizing the concept categories of Aristotle. Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235–1315) also used such an approach (Knowledge Board, 2010).

Similar networks - more semantic in nature, were developed in the late 1950s as a theory to understand human learning. These were developed even further by Allan M. Collins and M. Ross Quillian during the early 1960s, according to Winter (2004).

2.4.2 Popularization of the Term Mind Map

As already mentioned, the term "mind map" was first popularized by the British popular psychologist and television personality Tony Buzan. The latter was hosting a series ran by BBC TV known as ‘Use Your Head’ (Buzan, 1974). In that particular show, and also in his companion book series, Buzan forcefully and enthusiastically promoted his conception of the radial tree – a technique based on diagramming key words in a colorful, radiant, tree-like structure (Buzan, 2000).

Buzan (2000) acknowledges that the idea germinated in his head as he grew inspired by Alfred Korzybski's general semantics which were popularized in science fiction novels, just like those of Robert A. Heinlein and A.E. van Vogt. He argues that while traditional outlines force readers to scan left to right and top to bottom, readers actually tend to scan the entire page in a non-linear fashion.

However, as we compare the mind map against the concept map - which was itself developed by learning experts in the 1970s, the structure of the former is a similar radial, is much simpler given that it has just one central key word.

(http://www.mind-mapping.org/blog/mapping-history/roots-of-visual-mapping/)

2.4.3 Guidelines For Mind Mapping

The Knowledge Board (2010) suggests that Buzan recommends the following guidelines for the process of creating mind maps:

Starting with an image of the topic - using a minimum of 3 colours, in the centre.

Using images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout the mind map.

Selecting key words and printing, using upper or lower case letters.

Placing each word/image alone and sitting on its own line, for best results.

Ensuring that the lines are connected, starting from the central image (the central lines should be thicker, organic and thinner as they radiate out from the centre).

Making the lines of same length as the word or image they need to support.

Using multiple colors throughout the mind map (this facilitates visual stimulation as well as encoding or grouping).

Developing own personal style of mind mapping.

Using emphasis and showing associations in the mind map.

Keeping the mind map clear (it is advised to use a radial hierarchy, numerical order or outlines to embrace the various branches).

For their part, Buzan and Buzan (1993) have mentioned that there are four key characteristics of a mind map. These are:

There is one key concept, often expressed graphically as an image.

From the key concept/image, branches radiate out (each of these branches contains another key concept which is a subset of the main concept).

Other branches (attached to main branch) represent less important concepts.

Together, the branches and central image form a structure made of nodes.

Again, according to Buzan and Buzan (1993), the steps involved in creating a mind map may be summarized as follows:

Step 1 – Determining the central image or concept.

Step 2 – Creating the basic structure for organizing ideas: these are the main branches known as the Basic Organizing Ideas (BOIs). They are represented by branches radiating outwards from the main concept.

Step 3 – Putting down keywords associated with the BOIs, which should sit on smaller branches connected to the main branch.

Step 4 – Revisiting the mind map, putting things in order, and numbering the branches. Wherever necessary, revising it on another piece of paper.

Special Techniques Recommended

Buzan and Buzan (1993) have also recommended the following points which should be borne in mind when creating a mind map:

Using radiant thinking – starting from the centre and radiating outwards.

Using hierarchy and association –main BOIs are embodied in thick lines radiating from the centre, with the ideas radiating from the individual BOIs having thinner lines.

Using images and colours for the purpose of stimulating the brain's visual and creative capacity and helping having fun all along the process.

Using keywords, rather than phrases (this makes it easier to remember).

Using symbols and codes. Also annotating the mind map, through writing references to other sources in a different colour pen.

Being clear: having words of the same length as lines (a better use of space), and using capitals, which are easier to read and which emphasize keywords.

Using arrows to denote links between ideas.

Drawing quickly and uncritically on a sheet of A4 or larger paper (perhaps two A4 sheets put together. This also offers the advantage that it will be readily distinguishable from other single folios.

Reviewing the mind map after completing the first attempt. This should not be done immediately, but once thoughts have had time to settle.

Mind mappers are recommended to adopt a personal style and to have fun creating their mind maps. They may deliberately attempt to make them as beautiful as possible. In fact, mind maps can often become mini works of art as illustrated below:

© Jonathan Goldstein

2.4.4 Uses of the Mind Map

As is the case with other diagramming tools, mind maps may be used for:

generating, visualizing, structuring, and classifying ideas.

(Journal of Computing Sciences, 2006)

As a tool to facilitate studying, mind maps can be used for the purpose of:

organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

(Journal of Computing Sciences, 2006)

Practical Applications of Mind Maps

Mind maps have several applications in personal, family, educational, and business situations. These include taking notes, brainstorming (wherein ideas are radiated on the map around the center node, summarizing, as a mnemonic technique, or to sort out complicated ideas.

Mind maps are also promoted as a means of collaborating in creativity sessions.

The Journal of Computing Sciences (2006) has also mentioned that mind maps can be used for:

problem solving

outlining/framework design

structuring/relationship representations

promoting anonymous collaboration

coupling words and visuals

promoting individual expression of creativity

condensing material into concise and memorable formats

team building or synergy creating activities

enhancing work morale

Additionally and according to Beel et al. (2009), data retrieved from mind maps can be used to enhance several other applications, such as:

Expert search systems, search engines and search and tag query recommender.

To these ends, mind maps can be analysed through using classic methods of retrieving information for the purpose of classification.

The Mind Map Compared to Concept Maps

The differences may be summarized as:

Mind maps differ from concept maps in that they (mind maps) focus on a single word or idea, whereas concept maps are basically used to connect multiple words or ideas.

Moreover, concept maps typically have text labels on their connecting lines/arms whereas mind maps are based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept.

(Pressley et al., 1998)

Benefits of Mind Maps

The benefits of mind mapping as a technique are that it enables users to:

Enlist the full power of the brain, both the right side, which is employed for spatial awareness, a sense of wholeness (Gestalt), imagination, day dreaming, and colour, and the left, which is the more analytical, logical side.

To draw on the brain's ability to store an infinite number of associations and this, together with their visual qualities (space, image, colour etc.) help them stimulate the memory to store more facts.

Physically take up less space than chronologically based notes. This is less-time-consuming to produce.

To illustrate the above, let us refer to the following diagram which shows a mind map of a profit and loss statement, with some branches left blank.

(Sourced from, The Mind Map Book, Buzan and Buzan, 1993).

The Mind Map Compared to Modelling Graphs

The differences may be summarized as:

There is nothing rigorously right or wrong with mind maps, as is the case on tools that rely on the arbitrariness of mnemonic systems. Thus, while UML diagrams or semantic networks have structured elements that model relationships, with lines connecting objects to indicate relationships, mind maps serve a different purpose: they facilitate memory processes and organizations.

Mind maps are collections of words structured by the mental context of the author with visual mnemonics, and, through the use of colour, icons and visual links, are informal and necessary to the proper functioning of the mind map. This is not the case with modeling graphs.

(Pressley et al., 1998)

2.4.5 Mind Maps and Research

Farrand et al. (2002) stated that spider diagrams which are similar to concept maps, have limited, but significant, impact on memory recall in so far as undergraduate studies are concerned a 10% increase over baseline for a 600-word text only. As compared to preferred study methods (6% increase over baseline), the improvement was seen to be only robust after a week for those in the diagram group. These researchers also found that there was an important decrease in motivation compared to the subjects' preferred methods of note taking. Farrand et al. (2002) have also suggested that learners prefer using other methods because using a mind map appears to be an unfamiliar technique. They added that its status as a memory-enhancing technique, engendered reluctance for applications.

Nonetheless, Farrand et al. (2002) concluded that:

"Mind maps provide an effective study technique when applied to written material. However before mind maps are generally adopted as a study technique, consideration has to be given towards ways of improving motivation amongst users."

(Farrand et al., 2002 - 36 (5): 426–431)

For their part, Pressley et al. (1998), found that learners were prone to learn more effectively when they focused on the content of learning material rather than when having to worry over any one particular form of taking notes.

2.5 RESEARCH ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF RATIO ANALYSIS

Because of a widespread problem of lack of student participation in tutorials (Keddie and Trotter, 1998; Biggs, 1999; Ramsden, 2003), the latter decided to research on how to improve the conduct of accounting tutorials. One possible cause that was identified was students’ pre-conceived ideas about the content and purpose of tutorials: they simply wanted to be provided with solutions to tutorial questions rather than discussing those questions and at the same time participating actively in learning. To deal with this difficulty, he introduced authentic learning and teaching activities in the tutorials of a first-year accounting subject, Information for Business. The objectives of these activities were to motivate participation and stimulate student interest in the accounting tutorials.

The research focused on the positive learning experience in accounting tutorials, is a work-in-progress that forms part of a long-term project on incorporating constructive alignment between curriculum design, policy and practice.

The resultant paper starts with an introduction to the literature on the role of accounting tutorials, related problems, and the prospective contribution of promoting active learning and deep learning as means to address these problems.

A study by Mladenovic (2000) also showed that introductory accounting students had a negative perspective about accounting. Buckmaster and Craig (2000, p.375) further comment that beliefs such as ‘accounting is dull in content and unadventurous in mode’ can demotivate students from participating in accounting tutorials.

There have been various concerns expressed by numerous sources about the significance of current accounting education practices for preparing students to face the challenges of a swift changing business and professional environment in the new century (AECC, 1990; Mathews, 1990; Williams, 1993; Albrecht and Sack, 2000). For example, the Accounting Education Change Commission advocates that ‘students must be active participants in the learning process, not passive recipients of information’ (AECC, 1990, p.309).

Adler and Milne (1997a, p.273) state that ‘active student learning involves learning tasks which embody generic skills and attitude development, as well as the acquisition of a knowledge base, and in which the learners take some control and responsibility for their own learning.’ In other words, active learning improves the positive learning process experienced by pupils and can thus be considered a method that complements the fostering of in depth approaches to learning.

Glasser (1988) asserted that the concept of the accounting equation and classification of different accounts into their respective asset (A), liability (L) and owners’ equity (OE) categories are imperative building blocks in an introductory accounting subject. Using a hands-on activity can motivate student participation as well as help students to understand this vital concept in an amusing and simplest way.

For instance, when pupils in a tutorial came up with a variety of answers to a multiple-choice question about what a debit was used to record, the author decided it would be more effective for the students to find the solution themselves through his or her participation in an account classification activity. This activity was similar to a puzzle exercise and involved the preparation of 30 accounts in strip pieces.

The tutorial class was divided into three groups of A, L and OE, with each being responsible for identifying those accounts that belonged to their group. The groups had to draw up T-accounts on butcher’s paper and ‘post’ their entries (strip pieces) to the normal balance side of the T-account. Ten minutes were given to them for this activity, followed by five minutes for the presentation of their findings to the class.

After dividing the students into three groups, the author walked around the class giving a few hints, especially with regard to some of the expense items because some students were confused about the nature of expenses versus liabilities. When they returned to the multiple choice question after this activity, the students were able to visualize when and where to debit/credit, based upon their joint efforts recorded on butcher’s paper that was pinned to the wall for reference.

The result of the activity validated the author’s belief that the role of an educator is not transmitting information but making learning possible (Ramsden, 2003). This was achieved by finding out about students’ misunderstandings and creating a learning context for them to construct meanings and discover knowledge themselves. Prosser and Trigwell (1999) asserted that students tend to learn far more if they discover things by themselves rather than being told about facts or conventions to learn.

There was a mixed response to this activity. While some students found this type of hands-on activity interesting as evidenced by one student’s comment after the class that the activity reinforced her understanding of what she had read in the textbook, a few mature-aged students commented that it was ‘veggie maths’ – it was too easy for them. What the author gathered from these comments was that each student had a different learning style and she could not please all of them. While there was a small number of mature-aged students in the tutorials, the majority of the class was comprised of first year students who had just finished their Higher School Certificate. Consequently, the author’s teaching style and learning and teaching methods needed to take into consideration the needs of the majority of the class. This simple hands-on activity could be seen as a warm-up for developing more challenging and difficult activities as the semester progressed.

2.6 NATURE OF ACTION RESEARCH

Action Research is normally associated with 'hands on', small-scale research projects. A succinct definition of action research is that it is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the "actor" in improving and or refining his or her actions. (Carr and Kemmis, 1986).

Practitioners who engage in action research inevitably find it to be an empowering experience. Action research has a positive effect for many reasons. Obviously, the most important is that action research is always relevant to the participants. Relevance is guaranteed because the researchers, who are the primary consumers of the findings, determine the focus of each research. (Carr and Kemmis, 1986).

Perhaps, even more important is the fact that action research helps educators to be more effective in their teaching and development of their students. Seeing students grow cognitively is probably the greatest joy educators can experience. When teachers have convincing evidence that their work has a positive impact on their students' lives, the countless hours and endless efforts of teaching seem worthwhile (Carr and Kemmis, 1986).

The Four Defining Characteristics of Action Research

According to Kemmis (1982), there are four defining characteristics of action research. These are:

Practical It is aimed at dealing with real world problems and issues, typically at work and in organization settings.

Change Both as a way of dealing with practical problems and as a means of discovering more about phenomena, change is regarded as an integral part of research.

Cyclical process Research involves a feedback loop in which initial findings generate possibilities for change which are then implemented and evaluated as a prelude to further investigation.

Participation Practitioners are the crucial people in the research process. Their participation is active, not passive.

2.6.1 THE PRACTICAL NATURE OF ACTION RESEARCH.

Action Research is essentially practical and applied. It is driven by the need to solve practical, real world problems. It operates on the premise, as Kurt Lewin put it that 'Research that produces nothing but book will suffice.' (Lewin, 1946). But being practical would not be enough to set it apart from other approaches to research.

Action research rejects the concept of two- stage process in which research is carried out first by researchers and then in a separate second stage, the knowledge generated from the research is applied by practitioners. Instead the two processes of research and action are integrated.

Therefore, if the processes of the research and action are integrated, then action research must involve 'the practitioner' very closely.

Edwards and Talbot (1994) stressed upon the point:

"Practitioner research can only be designated action research if professionals who are engaged in researching, through structured self- reflection, aspects of their own practice as they engage in that practice carry it out".

Therefore, to accord with the spirit of action research, the researcher needs to investigate his or her practices with a view to altering in a beneficial way.

2.6.2 STEPS INVOLVED IN ACTION RESEARCH

Stephen Kemmis (1982) has developed a simple model of the cyclical nature of the typical action research process. Each cycle has four steps: plan, act, observe and reflect.

Cycle 1 Cycle 2

Cycle 1 Cycle 2

Gerald Susman (1983) gives a somewhat more elaborated listing. He distinguishes five phases to be conducted within each research cycle.

Initially, a problem is identified and data is collected for some more detailed diagnosis.

This is followed by a collective postulation of several possible solutions, from which a single plan of action emerges and is implemented.

Data on the results of the intervention are collected and analyzed.

The findings are interpreted in the light of how successful the action research has been.

At this point, the problem is re-assessed and the process begins another cycle. This process continues until the problem is resolved.

More about Action Research and Other Models

An action research is an important recent development in the field of teaching and it is evaluative and reflective. Frost (2002) said that ‘Action research is a systematic reflection, enquiry and action carried out by individuals about their own professional practices.’

According to Bassey (1998), Educational action research is an enquiry which is carried out in order to understand, to evaluate and then to change, in order to improve some educational practice. An action research involves a problem and the means to attend to the problem is developed. It means that the teacher has the opportunity to actively participate in the teaching and learning process thereby evaluating the progress of the pupils and amending his/her teaching strategies to improve results.

In the view of Reason & Bradbury (2002), action research is an interactive inquiry process that balances problem solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change. After six decades of action research development, many methodologies have evolved that adjust the balance to focus more on the actions taken or more on the research that results from the reflective understanding of the actions.

Action research challenges traditional social science, by moving beyond reflective knowledge created by outside experts sampling variables to an active moment-to-moment theorizing, data collecting, and inquiry occurring in the midst of emergent structure. “Knowledge is always gained through action and for action. From this starting point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-informed action — how to conduct an action science” (Torbert 2002). In short, performing action research is the same as performing an experiment, thus it is an empirical process.

Dick (1997) has argued that action research is usually cyclic, with action and critical reflection taking place in turn. The reflection is used to review the previous action and plan the next one.

2.7 USING MIND MAPPING COUPLED WITH THE CIT-CLEAR APPROACH

As hinted at in the opening chapter, the researcher as teacher has occasionally been using the CIT-CLEAR strategy when engaging in learning activities that require grouping students for team work. It is deemed appropriate to throw some light on this student centered approach so that the activities performed for this action research study (particularly, in the implementation of lesson units phase) may be viewed from the proper perspective.

2.7.1 The Collaboration Integration Theory (CIT)

Direct instruction has been the traditional method of most teachers in promoting learning in schools. The researcher, through his own experiences, concedes that often teachers are considered (sometimes they themselves tend to indeed consider themselves) as experts who are expected to convey ideas which students need to understand. The resulting and corresponding set of obligations for students is to pay close attention to the teacher, take notes, and memorize information and tons and tons of content material for the purpose of tests, examinations and other forms of evaluation, later. There is really no harm in acknowledging the fact that this happens the more so, in our over competitive ‘rat-race’ educational system in spite of various reforms intervening under successive governments, adding to accrued public pressures on educators and learners.

There is need to acknowledge too, that such a paradigm is no longer appropriate ‘because technology has produced new tools that transform the learning process’ as Adams & Hamm (2006) have rightly point out, if we are to follow some precepts and principles advocated by Trier (2007).

It is the researcher’s humble belief that as at now and specifically in the context of secondary level education in Mauritius, Wehlburg (2008) could be perfectly justified in his claim that no one really knows how to include or connect the vast resources for learning that are available in the present environment. Bold and creative alternatives need to be encouraged (the researcher has no hesitation in affirming that this as well, is one of the main factors that spurred him on to identify and opt for the subject / topic of the present research study in the field of educational technology). However, encouragement may not be enough, since alternatives will need to be described, elaborated upon, planned, implemented and evaluated to find out about effects or outcomes. Toward the goal of doing just that, a revolutionary concept has emerged, known as the Collaboration Integration Theory (CIT).Through exposure to the theory, teachers will be able to decide whether the potential it offers to support teamwork in the classroom is suitable for their own students (Wehlburg, 2008). The latter has also recommended this approach as being particularly effective when creating innovative learning environments or experimenting with novel teaching-learning strategies such as using models, concept maps or mind mapping, amongst others.

CIT is based on the following assumptions – as the author of this paper has gathered it from diverse sources:

Students need to practice teamwork skills that are required in the classroom.

Incorporating the perspective of sources outside school can enrich classroom / school learning.

Cultural and generational diversity in outlook require more consideration.

Allowing separate roles for individuals can increase scope of team learning.

Accountability can be assessed by how well students perform specific roles.

Observations of peer and self-contributions to a team improve evaluation.

It is worthwhile highlighting the fact that the operational strategies for integrating CIT into classroom practice are referred to as CLEAR. This is the acronym for:

Co-operative Learning Exercises and Roles (Strom & Strom, 2002)

Clearly the goals are to:

Shift the role of students from passive to active learning.

Make the collaboration process the focus of group work.

Enable every teammate to provide a unique contribution.

Reduce boredom (and hence increase enjoyment, participation and motivation) by differentiating roles for students.

Ensure enough time in groups to support peer evaluation.

It is the researcher’s conviction that the CLEAR approach (in the right dosage when integrated to the mind mapping techniques being investigated and tested in this study) can provide the greatest benefit when teacher and students have some roles for which they will be held informally accountable. As each student takes on responsibility for a separate role and shares what is learned, team learning can really become enjoyable, and inspiring or stimulating (Strom & Strom, 2002).

The illustration below informs tacitly how the 12 CLEAR roles function

Figure 2.4.1 CLEAR Roles for Students.

Source: From: Overcoming limitations of cooperative learning among community college students, by Paris Strom & Robert Strom. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 26(4), 2002, 315-331.

The researcher – as hinted at earlier, has already tried to adopt the CIT-CLEAR approach in units designed for the purpose of creating creative and innovative learning experiences for his students in the past. This Action Research programme based on the teaching/ learning of the topic Ratio Analysis in Accounting at the HSC level, through using mind maps will thus be made to accommodate the CIT-CLEAR strategy. The good thing in adopting this mode or paradigm is that students too, can assume the role of evaluator, particularly in a cooperative and collaborative learning environment.

SUMMARY

The central issue as well as those issues related to it, as covered in this review, is expected to provide the researcher with the conceptual/theoretical framework that is expected to contribute toward investigating the research questions raised in the opening chapter of this report. Based on the secondary data thus collected, the research methodology as well as the results and findings of this study will be evolved, eventually.


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