Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Autonomy-supportive learning with VaKE (Values and Knowledge Education) in teacher education. Fostering empathy and cognitive complexity.
Alfred Weinberger, Jean-Luc Patry, Sieglinde Weyringer

Last modified: 29-05-2017


The aim of this study is to examine enhanced autonomy-supportive teaching with VaKE (Values and Knowledge Education) in teacher education. VaKE is a constructivist teaching and learning approach which combines values and knowledge education, providing possibilities for autonomous learning. A quasi-experiment was applied with N = 43 pre-service teachers in an Austrian university of teacher education. The standard VaKE was compared with VaKE focusing on enhanced autonomy-supportive teaching by providing option choices. Dependent variables were the capacity to take the perspective of others (empathy) and the capacity to deal adequately with multiple sources of knowledge (cognitive complexity). The results indicate that empathy and cognitive complexity can be increased when providing enhanced cognitive autonomy support with VaKE. The main conclusion is that pre-service teachers can benefit in their moral as well as knowledge-related capacities when learning according to VaKE with provided option choices.

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