8th Teaching & Education Conference, Vienna

HOW THE CULTURE OF EDUCATION SHAPES LEARNER AUTONOMY: CASE STUDY OF THE UKRAINIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

NATALIIA GACH

Abstract:

By defining autonomy as the capacity to control one’s own learning in terms of management, cognition and content (Nunan, 2013:209), this research focuses on revealing the role of culture of education in shaping students’ attitude to the learning process, as the ability of individuals to take responsibility for their learning is largely determined by the context in which it takes place (Bruner, 1996; Nunan, 2013). The exploration of the cultural nature of autonomy of the Ukrainian university students majoring in translation from English adds to the wide array of studies on the concept of autonomy in Western and non-Western contexts (Farmer, 1994; Reinders, 2007; Karababa, Eker, Arik, 2010; Ceylan, 2015), and gives insight into the basic principles of the Ukrainian pedagogy, which determine a degree of students’ capacity to manage their own learning and develop their autonomy by taking decisions, setting targets, monitoring process, evaluating outcomes, and interacting with their teachers and fellow students. The empirical evidence for the research is obtained from the questionnaires filled by undergraduate students of the 1st-4th years of studying, aimed at measuring the degree of students’ confidence as communicators (continuously using and gradually developing their communicative skills), experimenters (gradually developing an explicit knowledge of a subject and awareness of its cultural conventions and constraints), and intentional learners (gradually developing an explicit awareness of effective and metacognitive aspects of learning) (Little, Dam & Legenhausen, 2017:23). The comparative analysis of data provided by students of different years of studying helps both trace the changes in learners’ attitude to the educational process and the degree of their awareness of learning objectives, and set the guidelines for the enhancement of learner autonomy within the Ukrainian higher education system.

Keywords: Learner autonomy, culture of education, Ukrainian pedagogy

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