1 University of Ibadan (NIGERIA)
2 Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma (NIGERIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Page: 3766 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
In developing countries Science, Technology and Engineering form the pivot of sustainable socio-economic development, poverty alleviation and improved living conditions as well as constituting a basis for global competitiveness. The products of these knowledge fields contribute in no small measure to the effective functioning of industries, design and construction of roads, bridges and various edifices, fabrication of equipment and work tools and to research endeavors crucial to nation building. In the light of the importance of these subjects and because of the popular opinion that they are difficult to learn, special attention needs to be focused on how these subjects are taught and on issues of learning environment and student characteristics which may influence how students learn. One factor which research has found to be significant in students’ learning relates to their learning styles i.e how they access, interpret and use information. This is more significant because of the nature of science and engineering which involve the processing and application of large chunks of both structured and unstructured information and data. Research has found that students receive and process information in different ways which could be called their learning styles. These could influence what they learn and how they learn especially when such styles are not compatible with the form and method by which their teachers present information in teaching. This mismatch of teaching and learning styles could result in poor achievement, loss of interest and discouragement of students which may bring about an increased drop-out level from science and engineering fields. This study therefore makes a case for the need to ascertain students learning styles in science, technology and engineering courses in higher institutions and to attempt to provide teaching content and experience which support or complement these styles. Specifically the study will examine the learning style preferences exhibited by three hundred science, technology and engineering students in the 100 level which is the first year in a university in Nigeria using the Index of Learning styles based on the Felder-Silverman model (online version by Felder & Soloman 1997). Interviews will also be conducted on a selected group within the larger sample as well as with six of their teachers. It is hoped that data got from the study will provide information on how students perceive , interact with and respond to the learning environments in their science, technology and engineering classes.
Teaching, learning styles, Science, Technology, Engineering.