Faculty inquiry also clarified the role that expectations play in academic behaviors. Students’ expectations, formed through experiences, perceptions and interpretations, are often unrealistic or incorrect. Regardless, they inform their value for learning, along with their sense of what it takes to succeed in learning. Insights about understanding and shaping expectations developed through inquiry can clearly be seen in the work of the following project:
Cerritos College – After closely studying developmental students, this team discovered that the student’s identity and conception of learning framed his or her learning experience and expectations. These, in turn, influenced academic behavior. When students perceived their role as following along, their approach to learning was passive and dependent. However, when they conceived of learning as an exploration, they were more often active and independent learners. By embedding reasoning and sense-making routines in the classroom, instructors demonstrated how to shape both the student’s concept of what it means to learn and their academic behaviors.