Topic 3: Learning approaches

Studies have shown that learning approaches have a direct impact on learning. Three main approaches to learning have been widely documented and theorized about. It is important to note here that all these approaches can be used by the same learner at different times depending on the context and how learners perceive the relationship between themselves and their learning, because learning approaches are grounded in the students’ intentions.

The literature on learning approaches focuses mostly on the university setting. The good news is that in the context of articling, as opposed to the context of law school, students will most likely adopt a deep learning approach because they are highly motivated to learn and to do well. However, we explain the different approaches here because the learning approaches they took in law school had an impact on their study and work habits, some of which they may carry over into the articling context. Students may experience a transition period where they are exploring different work habits to find effective ones. As a mentor, you can help them in this process by making them conscious of it and by coaching them into developing more effective work and time management habits.