The purpose of this study is to examine the process of stabilization and/or change in university students' notions of content and transmission and acquisition of knowledge. The subjects, 25 students of engineering, economics, medicine, and psychology, were interviewed at the beginning and the end of their training period.
The main result of the study is that the students of psychology, both at the beginning and the end of their training, manifest the greatest variation in notions of content and in the transmission and acquisition of knowledge. They express five qualitatively different notions at these two points of time. Furthermore, practically all students of psychology develop a repertory of notions in the course of their training. This means that the students simultaneously express more than one notion of the content of their education.
Initially, the students of economics express three different notions of content and of the transmission and acquisition of knowledge. Towards the end of their training, they have developed a fourth notion. Slightly more than half of the students of economics acquire a repertory of notions of the content of economics in the course of their training.
Initially, the students of medicine express three notions of medicine. Towards the end of their training they express only two different types of notions of the content of medicine. Few students of medicine develop an individual repertory of notions.
Initially, the students of engineering express three different notions of engineering. Towards the end of their training they express four qualitatively different notions. Some students develop a repertory of notions of engineering in the course of their training.
From the point of view of content, the students' notions vary between social and individual explanations and definitions of their respective subjects. The changes in the students' notions are analysed on the basis of the curriculum code of each programme. The programmes of medicine and engineering are dominated by a collected code whereas the programmes of economics and psychology are dominated by an integrated code.
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1993. , 207 p.
Notions of content, transmission of knowledge, acquisition of knowledge, evaluation of higher education, qualitative methods