Universidad de Extremadura (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 70-77
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Learning and teaching are changing very fast. Nowadays teachers include different experiences using a range of learning styles, those responsible for organizing learning create opportunities to learn with interesting results, reflecting how their students like to learn (Coffield et all, 2004). Even when they are teaching in similar courses, different teachers teach in different ways, and this can affect to the satisfaction and motivation of students (Dunkin 1986; Murray 1991).

According with the experiences about learning of the students in universities we can make questions to great number of teachers: How can we maintain the attention of the students in class?, Is it actually possible to motivate to students to learn? Are the students motivated to reach the best qualification? Could we provide to teachers with different mechanisms to focus the attention to participate in activities organized by the professor? There are many authors in literature who have written about that (Dall’Alba 1991; Dunkin 1990, 1992; Dunkin and Precians 1992; Gow and Kember 1993 etc), they have identified a number of different conceptions of teaching among teachers in higher education using analytic categories derived from interviews to construct a questionnaire on conceptions about teaching´s measure in nine scales that were subsumed under two broad orientations of teaching. In one side, we can consider the “learning facilitation” which means: Problem solving, interactive and facilitate teaching, pastoral interest, etc. On the other side, we can include the “knowledge transmission” which means: training for specific jobs related to contents about the subject´s knowledge.

Several authors focus their attention on types of learning, in the different categories or system to learn. Other authors observe aspects more related with teaching’s conceptions. Firstly Pask (1976) describes two particular learning styles: holist and serialist, in the following way: holist learners learn in layers. They prefer an overview of where they are going first before learning a complex process. They like having a map, knowing where they are headed and what they are working toward. Secondly, Honey, Mumford (1982) identified four categories to learn:
1. Activists, when include new experiences and problems based in situations that offer challenges, these activities create excitement and sense of freedom.
2. Reflectors, respond to situations which demand observations, reflection and thinking.
3. Theorists provide a logical, rational structure and clear aims given by a methodological process.
4. Pragmatists, respond more positively to practically base relevant learning activities, using practice cases based in the theory.

The results of the research which have involved more than two hundred students in the University of Extremadura are presented in this paper. At the same time it receives the opinion of the 20 teachers, making interviews with contrasting results. The majority of them tell us that they are aware of necessity to spend more time teaching students but to do that should be recognized by the University increasing salary or merits. Obviously they are prepared to improve their teaching and organize some activities to build a deep confidence with the student but most of them do not want to spend that time because the University positions are focused on researching and teaching.
Learning, teaching, students, knowledge, merits.