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Adolescence. 2008 Spring;43(169):129-42.

College students' role models, learning style preferences, and academic achievement in collaborative teaching: absolute versus relativistic thinking.

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Center for Teacher Education Program, National Sun Yat-Sen University, No. 70, Lien-Hai Rd., Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Based on the perspective of postformal operations, this study investigated whether college students' role models (technical teachers vs. lecturing teachers) and preferred learning styles (experience-driven mode vs. theory-driven mode) in collaborative teaching courses would be moderated by their cognitive development (absolute thinking vs. relativistic thinking) and examine whether academic achievement of students would be contingent upon their preferred learning styles. Two hundred forty-four college students who have taken the technical courses with collaborative teaching participated in this study. The results showed that those participants with absolute thinking perceived the modeling advantage of technical teachers was greater than that of lecturing teachers, preferred the experience-driven mode over the theory-driven mode, and displayed differential academic achievement between technical courses and general courses. On the other hand, the students with relativistic thinking revealed no difference in perceived modeling advantage of role models, learning styles preferences, and academic achievement between two categories of courses. In addition, this research indicates that college students' preferred learning styles would interact with course category (technical courses vs. general courses) to display differential academic achievement. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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