A study of preferred information processing style and its relationship to gender and achievement in the context of design and technology project work

Stephanie Atkinson
2005, Vol. 10, No. 1,

Abstract


One way of raising the efficiency of a scholar’s
learning and achievement is to improve
teaching strategies employed by staff and the
learning strategies adopted by the learner.
Teachers have long recognised that learners
differ in how they learn and interact with the
teaching materials provided for them.
However, as Riding (2002) explained, teachers
have often lacked a clear means of knowing
what these differences were and thereby take
account of such differences in their teaching.
The research reported in this article attempts
to illustrate two of these differences: namely
preferred information processing style and
gender, and their relationship to achievement
in the context of design and technology project
work across two phases of education. A smallscale
study involving three separate cohorts
was used for data collection purposes. Cohort
A was made up of 54 students from a
university in the North East of England. These
students were studying to become secondary
school teachers of design and technology.
Cohort B was made up of 63 students from a
university in the Midlands. In this instance
these students were studying to become
industrial product designers. Cohort C was
made up of 50 Year 10 pupils. These pupils
were studying for their GCSE design and
technology examination. Data concerning,
preferred information processing style, gender
and achievement were analysed and the
relationship between the selected variables
was discussed. Conclusions pertinent to this
study were then drawn in the hope that
teaching and learning strategies could be
improved and that teachers in other
institutions may be able to extrapolate from
the findings to suit their own situations.

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