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Conceptions of success in education for three classes of Nunavut Arctic College students

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Title: Conceptions of success in education for three classes of Nunavut Arctic College students
Author: Gooding, John Douglas
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Adult Education
Copyright Date: 1999
Subject Keywords Education, Higher -- Nunavut; College students -- Nunavut -- Attitudes
Abstract: "Success" in education means different things to different people. The purpose of this study was to examine conceptions of success (in education) held by some students at Nunavut Arctic College. The author is a white male from southern Canada and had not been to the Arctic prior to this study. As such, it was necessary to employ a participatory and respectful methodology. ' In three separate procedures, classes of Nunavut Arctic college students were given index cards and asked to describe what it means to be successful in education. As a class, we arranged the cards into common categories on the floor in front of the classroom desks. Some students wrote that success in education meant getting a good job. Some reported that they learned best when they could understand what was going on in a class. We decided as a class where each card belonged. Conceptions of success in education emerged as groups of cards were given titles, such as, "Understanding" or "Sharing knowledge." In the final procedure, another group of students was interviewed with a tape recorder to explore their conceptions in more depth. "Success" in education in the Arctic (and elsewhere) typically has to do with securing knowledge for personal development. Secondly, it is concerned with instrumental or pragmatic concerns like getting a job. For most people "success" in education involves a mix of personal and instrumental factors. Hence, for the purposes of this study the author used a heuristic device wherein "personal" and "instrumental" conceptions of success could be plotted. Students' conceptions were graphed along the two dimensions of instrumental application and personal development. Five conceptions emerged from the final study: "Understanding", "Sharing", "Reaching goals in education", "Money" and "Certificate". The conception "Understanding" was graphed in an area of low instrumental application/high personal development; "Sharing knowledge" and "Reaching goals in education" were graphed in an area of high instrumental application/high personal development; "Money" was graphed in an area of low instrumental application/low personal development; and "Certificate" was graphed in an area of high instrumental application/low personal development.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/9185
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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