Learning strategies of successful high school science students.
Lebuso, Phehlane Churchill.
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The purpose of this study was to explore the learning strategies that are used by successful science students. In addressing this purpose, a mixed methods approach was adopted in which both quantitative and qualitative methods of data production were used. The participants were both successful and less successful high school science students from grades ten to twelve inclusive. Quantitative data was collected through questionnaires and analysed. The qualitative data was collected through individual semistructured interviews and focus group interviews. This was analysed using a qualitative thematic approach. The research questions were first about the learning strategies that successful science students seemed to use in order to do well academically, and secondly the question of the factors which influenced these successful students. The findings are that there are differences in the use of strategies between the successful students and their less successful counterparts. The successful students in general reported using more learning strategies more often than the less successful students. Successful students also reported that they engaged in strategies for regulating the effort they applied to work on difficult or boring tasks. They engaged more in cognitive strategies that involved deep processing of information, while the less successful students relied more on rehearsal and more superficial strategies like text underlining. Successful students also engaged more in self-regulatory activities that allowed them to monitor and regulate the way they learn. The findings also revealed that the successful students reported that they are influenced in their studies more by such factors as family support, the love of the subject and their goals or ambitions.