Adopting a "satisficing" model for school performance in students' views of learning

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This study explored students' views on learning in a sample of 171 secondary school students. The answers on an open-ended task were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The views on school learning were mostly reflected in the things students do in school in order to be good learners. Factor analysis of students' views of school learning showed they referred more to pragmatic categories, passive learning strategies, and grades than to active learning motives and understanding. The most dominant factor in students' views of school learning, adequate school performance, does not relate to actual learning processes but can be viewed as the minimal compliance behaviors students must perform in order to keep up in school by "satisficing" (Simon, 1955) - satisfying and sufficing - the teachers (task completion and class participation). Theoretical and educational implications were discussed to heighten educators' awareness of students' thinking about learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-214
Number of pages22
JournalEducational Research and Evaluation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Conceptions of learning
  • Learning
  • Students' experience
  • Students' voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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