Learning "Facts" Versus Learning That Most Questions Have Many Answers: Student Evaluations of Contrasting Curricula

John G. Nicholls, J. Ron Nelson, Kenneth Gleaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In interviews, urban African American students (Grades 1-8) were asked to compare the memorization of noncontroversial information with the learning and discussion of information designed to help students develop personal stances on controversial matters. Younger students did not clearly see one curriculum as more fair. Older students, more so than younger students, saw collaborative inquiry about controversial topics as fair and as likely to foster motivation. They also more strongly agreed that school should foster motivation and understanding, and they valued memorizing less than did younger students. That is, older students' views resembled the view of critics who argue that schools place undue emphasis on "fixed facts and skills to be acquired" (J.I. Goodlad, 1984, p. 209). Possible roles of student voice in curricula matters are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-260
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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