A Comparative Study of Student Attitudes to Learning: Cuba and Australia

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Williams, Joanne (2006) A Comparative Study of Student Attitudes to Learning: Cuba and Australia. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


It is widely agreed within educational research that student attitudes to learning and schooling are of critical importance. However it continues to be rare for research to draw on the perspectives of students themselves as valid data. Moreover, students are almost entirely absent from educational policy-making and processes of educational reform. This project employed a collaborative social research methodology. It sought the perspectives of twenty Year 10 students in Melbourne's west, and twenty students of similar age in Havana, Cuba, using written cases and group interviews. The students offered their views on learning and schooling and then collaborated with the researcher to develop interpretative case summaries. The project demonstrates the usefulness of involving students actively in educational research not only from the perspective of improving student attitudes to learning, but also as a critical element of a democratic education capable of fostering an engaged and critical student population. Cuba was chosen as a contrasting context with extensive experience in involving students in educational decision-making. The comparison between the two countries revealed both shared experiences and a range of differences, and illuminated the importance of understanding broader contextual influences on student attitudes and their relationship to the possibilities for reform.

Additional Information

Master of Education

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/599
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 330000 Education
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Keywords comparative study; student attitudes; learning; Education and state; Cuba; Australia
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