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Evidence of authentic achievement: the extent of disciplined enquiry in student teachers' essay scripts

Maclellan, Effie (2004) Evidence of authentic achievement: the extent of disciplined enquiry in student teachers' essay scripts. Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 4. pp. 71-85. ISSN 1446-5442

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The purpose of this study was to describe the extent to which undergraduates engage in disciplined enquiry, as one means of operationalising critical thinking. Three hundred essays from second-year students were judged on the indicators of disciplinary concepts, elaborated written communication and analysis. Non parametric statistical tests revealed that disciplinary concepts were more in evidence than was analysis. This was manifest in written communications which were not, overall, elaborated into coherent essays. The results suggest that students need to appreciate that knowledge is an intentional, and perhaps, effortful construction of the human mind and that this involves the use of a knowledge-transforming strategy rather than the coping strategy of knowledge-telling. For this to happen, however, some current pedagogic practices may need to be revised