Approaches to Learning of First-Year and Fifth-Year Student Teachers: Are There Any Differences?

February, 2017

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol . 40, No . 1, 62–75, 2017
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This article aims to explore the differences between first-year and fifth-year student teachers on a number of personality and motivational variables that are indicative of their approaches to learning.

The sample included 217 first-year and 109 fifth-year student teachers from three Croatian universities.

Data were collected through a questionnaire measured personality dispositions, self-descriptions, achievement goals, motivation, learning strategies and perceived autonomy support in learning.

The findings reveal that first-year and final-year student teachers differ on a number of variables relevant for their academic performance during teacher studies. The authors found that final-year student teachers displayed more conscientiousness, self-efficacy for learning and performance and had higher academic and problem-solving self-concepts than first-year student teachers.

Furthermore, final-year student teachers showed less test anxiety, had lower mastery and performance avoidance goals and lower use of rehearsal learning strategies, and in addition perceived less autonomy support from their university teachers compared to first-year student teachers.

The authors found that first- and final-year students differed on two dimensions of self-concept: academic and problem-solving.
However, the findings reveal that both of these groups were mostly oriented towards the mastery approach goals and moderately oriented towards performance approach goals.

The authors conclude that Overall we can conclude that the nature of differences between the two groups points to the more adaptive and proactive approach to learning displayed by final-year student teachers.

Updated: Nov. 22, 2018


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