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Francisco De Carvalho

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About me


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LEARNING IN STEM                                                                        


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About me

Student experience in higher education: what matters for student learning in undergraduate education?

The ability to persist and complete a degree with success depends on many factors within an academic context. Psychologists and educators have provided many theories and pedagogical approaches to improve our understanding of how students learn. However, my interest in the field of teaching and learning in higher education goes beyond the understanding of how pedagogical approaches can improve a student´s learning and academic outcomes. 

As a sociologist, we often provide an explanation of how social categories affect individuals in a social context. My contribution through my research is to investigate the role of social aspects of the student experience in higher education, in particular the contribution of the major socializing agents on campus (peer interactions and interactions with faculty members). In my first paper, I tried to contribute to the understanding of these interactions in a context where students were less likely to seek faculty beyond the classroom. 

The next step in my research will focus on student-faculty interaction inside the classroom.  Classroom interactions are well-established as the major influence on student learning and development in higher education. In the context of a classroom, one of the key aspects of the student experience is class participation. My research focuses on the role of pedagogical practices and faculty behaviors in fostering or hindering student participation in the classroom. Then, based on survey design, I will focus on the impact of both student-faculty interactions inside and outside the classroom on various academic outcomes, such as academic motivation, sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and overall satisfaction. 

I am originally from Mozambique but I did my Masters in Education at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Since then, my concern has been the pursuit of scientific inquiry into college experience related to student learning and development.  

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