The impact of a preparatory science of learning intervention in secondary schools contexts in Australia
It is well documented that students of all ages tend to rely on inefficient study strategies. In a departure from the accustomed reactive strategy-training approach found in university settings, this study took a novel approach focusing on students at an earlier stage in their education. The aim was to evaluate the efficacy of early preparatory and applied instructional training interventions on secondary school-age student learner behaviours (metacognition and self-regulation) and study strategies (knowledge of, belief in and commitment in use) in their schooling contexts. It applied a single-subject research design (SSRD) through a repeated measures approach in two Australian secondary schools, aided by a partnership with the University of Queensland. The study unpacked the impact, barriers and challenges of a preparatory study strategy training and instruction methodology. When the instruction focused on improving students’ knowledge of effective strategies, many appeared ambivalent with little change. However, when the study strategy training was integrated into subject curricula and assessments, this approach significantly increased students’ knowledge about them, belief in their efficacy and commitment to using them. These altered strategy preferences and use correlated with changes to learner behaviours associated with metacognitive knowledge, self-efficacy and self-regulation. Furthermore, teachers coached in integrating, applying and teaching the strategies reported similar increases in their knowledge, belief, and commitment to their use to suit their subjects’ curricular and assessment requirements. These initial findings highlight the ingredients to effectively instruct secondary students to translate the science of learning into their study plans.
Innate Study Behaviours and Strategies Used by Adolescent Male Students: A Single School Case Study
Efficient student learning behaviours and effective study strategies can affect their academic outcomes throughout their schooling. There is a plethora of research evaluating study behaviours in the tertiary/university context. Very few focus on the secondary school context. The aim is to investigate the inherent study strategies reportedly used by secondary students across different year levels. Its purpose is the initial data collection point for repeated measure longitudinal evaluations of student study behaviours and strategies through their secondary schooling journey. The study surveyed 1088 secondary students from a single boy’s secondary school to appraise their ability to study and preferred strategies. The strategy preferences and self-assessment identified by this sample were different from previous applicable studies. The students in the early secondary years reported using few strategies best described as low utility. In the later secondary years, the sample reported an increased number of study strategies used. The older students’ repertoire consisted of both high and low utility strategies. While the findings are limited to a single site and adolescent boys, it does present a much-needed insight into innate secondary student study behaviours and strategies.