Godor, Brian P. (2016). Moving beyond the deep and surface dichotomy; using Q methodology to explore students’ approaches to studying. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(2), 207-218. (doi: 10.1080/13562517.2015.1136275) (Accessible: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13562517.2015.1136275>

Abstract: Student learning approaches research has been built upon the notions of deep and surface learning. Despite its status as part of the educational research canon, the dichotomy of deep/surface has been critiqued as constraining the debate surrounding student learning. Additionally, issues of content validity have been expressed concerning situational and contextual differences in its interpretation. Q Methodology was used as both a research method and an analytical technique for this study and has as its aim the exploration of subjectivity. The deep/surface dichotomy was not found in this study, but rather three unique types of study approaches. Moreover, though Q Methodology, new novel combinations of statements were able to emerge and thus allowing the academic discussion to move beyond the deep and surface dichotomy.

Brian P Godor <godor@fsw.eur.nl> is in the Erasmus School of Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.