Learning and Awareness

By Ference Marton, Shirley Booth

© 1997 – Routledge

236 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780805824551
pub: 1997-03-01
US Dollars$49.95

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book stems from more than 25 years of systematic research into the experience of learning undertaken by a research team trying to account for the obvious differences between more or less successful instances of learning in educational institutions. The book offers an answer in terms of the discovery of critical differences in the structure of the learner's awareness and critical differences in the meaning of the learner's world. The authors offer a detailed account of the empirical findings that give rise to theoretical insights, and discuss the particular form of qualitative research that has been employed and developed.

The form of learning that is the object of study is considered to be the most fundamental form -- namely a change in the learner's way of seeing, experiencing, handling, and understanding aspects of the world. The need for rigorous analysis of learning of specific subject matter, the individual construction of knowledge, and its social and cultural embeddedness -- the defining features of rival approaches into research on learning -- are reconciled from the approach adopted here into an intertwined and whole experience of learning. The learner's experience is always one of learning something, in some way, and in some context; by holding the learner's experience of learning as the focus of study throughout -- and not studying the learning of the content and the acts and the context as separate and distinct focuses -- the content, the act, and the context remain united as constituents of the learner's experience.

By empirically revealing critical differences in the ways of experiencing these aspects of learning, and by developing a theoretical framework for the dynamics through which change comes about in the learner's awareness, this book gradually leads the reader to a powerful new view of learning. Equipped with the analytical tools and conceptual apparatus to be found in this book, the reader will be empowered to learn and to assist others to learn by creating environments conducive to the most fundamental form of learning: experiencing aspects of the world in new ways.


"…(the authors') book makes a strong point that the art of teaching some things to some men (and women and children) can be developed if we understand how these men (and women and children) experience what is to be learned in the the context of their world."

Journal of Curriculum Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Prologue. Acknowledgements. What Does It Take to Learn? Qualitative Differences in Learning. The Experience of Learning. Revealing Educationally Critical Differences in Our Understanding of the World Around Us. The Anatomy of Awareness. The Idea of Phenomenography. Learning to Experience. A Pedagogy of Awareness. Epilogue.

About the Series

Educational Psychology Series

This series has several goals:

  • to present the most significant contemporary theory and research on psychology as it is applied to education at all levels – elementary; secondary, and tertiary;
  • to present this research in a way that is relevant and accessible to both psychologists and educators;
  • to explore new ideas in instruction and assessment that are grounded in theory and tested in classrooms;
  • to inform and influence educational policy through the establishment of a solid base of theory and research rather than through the fads and fashions that come and go with the times but that have no base in the psychology of instruction;
  • to achieve further integration in the perspectives of education and psychology, as well as to draw together various fields of psychology in order to capitalize on their potential contributions to educational outcomes;
  • to explore notions of school reform that are linked to our knowledge about students’ learning, thinking, and motivation; and
  • to disseminate ideas from around the world, including Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as the Americas.


This series will publish monographs and edited books that advance these goals through new and innovative contributions to educational psychology. Edited books must have a sense of coherence, contain unifying introductory and concluding chapters, and be internally consistent in scope and level of writing.

Potential authors and volume editors are encouraged to take risks and to explore with the series editors nontraditional points of vie wand methodologies. Interdisciplinary contributions involving theory and methodology from diverse fields, such as computer science, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, and neuroscience, are especially welcome, but all contributions must be readable and interesting to psychologists and educators of varying backgrounds. Authors and editors from all around the world are encouraged to submit proposals.

Examples of topics that would be of interest include, but are not limited to, creative techniques for instruction, nontraditional forms of assessment, student learning, student motivation, organizational structure and climate, teacher education, new conceptions of abilities and achievement, analyses of cognitive structures and representations in various disciplines, expertise in teaching and administration, use of technology in the schools, at-risk children, adult education, and styles of learning and thinking.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Psychology