Exploring changes in student teachers’ meaning-oriented learning

Stella van der Wal-Maris (Corresponding author), Douwe Beijaard, Gonny Schellings, Jeannette Geldens

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    3 Citations (Scopus)
    40 Downloads (Pure)


    This study reports on changes in student teachers’ meaning-oriented learning during teacher education and their perceptions of what enhances this learning. Students with a meaning-oriented learning pattern view learning as an active process of knowledge construction, are capable of regulating their learning, want to understand a topic thoroughly, form their opinions about it and draw their own conclusions. This study is situated in Dutch academic primary teacher education, covering student teachers’ entire study period. Quantitative data on changes in their learning patterns were collected using a pre-test/post-test design (N = 21). The student teachers’ perceptions of what enhanced meaning-oriented learning were explored by conducting semi-structured interviews after their graduation (N = 9). At the group level, changes were limited to an increasing use of deep processing strategies. At the individual level, changes varied from a moderate decrease to a high increase in meaning orientation. Increases appeared to be related particularly to student teachers’ perceptions of opportunities to learn from their own interests and to regulate their own learning; student teachers who reported having experienced such opportunities increased their meaning-oriented learning. The study indicates that student teachers could benefit from explicating and discussing these opportunities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-168
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


    • deep learning
    • learning environment
    • meaning-oriented learning
    • self-regulation
    • Student teacher learning


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