oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Lighting fires from fires : a description of the research entitled 'Kindling Fires'

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1818-9687



This study examined students' responses to assessment for evidence of cumulative learning. The hypothesis was that if students' learning is cumulative, then they will be able to apply their knowledge and skills productively in industry. The research used Matonâ??s (2009) concept of 'semantic gravity' as a tool to determine the relative context-dependency of the students' knowledge. A higher education institution provided the Journalism curriculum for this research. Assessments were coded according to 'knowledge principles' described by the research tool. The coding allowed these responses to be given a 'weight' ofsemantic gravity, i.e. a level of context-dependency. The codes were then examined for patterns that wouldreveal evidence of cumulative learning. The study found evidence of cumulative learning, but because of certain limitations, this learning was not fully developed. The findings of this research have implications for an enriched understanding of the potential for students to be productive after they graduate.

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
Plutarch (c.46â??119 AD)

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