International Education Journal

Articles from the Educational Research Conference 2001


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The relationship between values and learning

Bobbie Matthews
Flinders University School of Education



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Values are seen as antecedents of behaviour. The study reported has assumed that values have a direct influence on learning behaviour. Values that guide students' lives in their home countries are argued to influence the ways in which learning takes place in other countries. Ethnically Chinese students in Australia are the subjects of the study. Values have been measured on five occasions using the Chinese Value Survey (CVS) (Chinese Culture Connection, 1987). Approaches to study have also been measured on five occasions using the Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ) (Biggs, 1987). This paper considers the results of canonical correlation analysis using the four value scales of the CVS and the six SPQ scales. A strong first canonical factor is found in which a weighted combination of values is related to a weighted combination of learning motivations and strategies. The second pair of canonical factors relates low integrity values with a surface learning strategy. The third pair of canonical factors involves low Confucian values and a high deep learning strategy. The second and third canonical factors suggest that for some students their values and approaches to learning are changing during their period of study in Australia. This possible change in values and learning approaches warrants further investigation.

canonical analysis, life values, learning strategies, Chinese Value Survey (CVS), Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ)




Matthews, B. (2001) The relationship between values and learning. International Education Journal, 2 (4), 223-232.

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