Gitte Holten Ingerslev

Part-time Lecturer

Gitte Holten Ingerslev
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PH.D. Abstract

The Influence of student and teacher conceptions of learning on reading performance

A longitudinal study of the relations between different approaches to literature teaching and the reading performance of Danish students at lower and upper secondary school.

Background, aim and relevance

The background of my interest in the problems investigated in this study is 20 years of teaching literature in Danish upper secon­dary school. I have witnessed the percentage of young people opting for upper sec­ondary school triple over the years, resulting in a much wider range of student backgrounds to every class. In spite of the effects of this, teaching has not changed radically.

The aim of the study is to give a broader insight to teachers and students into the underlying factors in a classroom with regard to knowledge and conceptions of learning (Boulton-Lewis et al. 2001; Marton, Dall'Alba, and Beaty 1993).    

The study aims to -         reveal possible connections between, on one hand, students’ learning conceptions and learning approaches, and, on the other, their reading and interpretation skills in the subject of Danish language and literature

-         investigate the extent to which a student preserves or changes his or her

·        conception of learning

·        learning approach

·        literacy and interpretation skills

at the shift from the disciplinary culture of lower secondary school to that of upper secondary school.     

-         investigate the relation between the teacher’s conception of learning and knowledge within the subject combined with the student’s conception of reading and interpreting literary texts, and of learning in the subject of Danish.


The thesis is based on qualitative as well as quantitative research.

Classroom observations were carried out in five classrooms in three lower secondary schools – year 9/10 (folkeskoler) and in five classrooms in two upper secondary schools – year 10/11-12 (gymnasier).

Open interviews were carried out with three lower secondary school teachers, five upper secondary school teachers, and nine students who were followed for three years – and interviewed once a year.

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