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Shedding past notions of marginalised education : how understanding learning styles can transform perspectives on learning

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This chapter examines the role of a pre-undergraduate language course in encouraging and enabling adult learners to transform perspectives of themselves from marginalised learners to successful university students. One tool for encouraging this transformation is Soloman and Felder’s Index of Learning Styles (ILS) (Felder & Brent, 2005). This inventory shows that students’ learning preferences can be measured along a continuum in four different areas: active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal and sequential/global. As well as furnishing students with greater understanding of how they learn, this information has assisted lecturers in Central Queensland University’s Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program to plan an effective language course that gives students learning strategies from both inside and outside their preferred learning styles. Student voices testify to the fact that both understanding themselves and learning a wide variety of new skills have been beneficial in consciousness raising. This knowledge has given many STEPS participants the freedom to cast off perceptions of marginalisation, and has helped them to gain not only academic success in the STEPS program, but also the confidence of future success in the worlds of university and lifelong learning.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)



McConachie J; Harreveld B; Luck J; Nouwens F; Danaher PA

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Post Pressed

Place of Publication

Teneriffe, Qld.

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Division of Teaching and Learning Services; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Number of Chapters