Understanding undergraduate attributes: A survey of student self-reported intellectual openness and love of learning at the start of academic year 2014

2017-10-10T01:42:54Z (GMT) by Gavin Brown Makayla Grays
<div>In addition to graduating students with significant disciplinary knowledge and skill, universities often seek to inculcate a range of generic cognitive and communicative skills and valued attitudes and dispositions. In New Zealand and Australia, these ambitions are referred to as</div><div>graduate attributes.</div><div>This study examines student self‐reported endorsement of having two attributes drawn from The University of Auckland’s Graduate Profile and contrasts mean scores according to degree program and degree progress. Specifically, students in the Faculty of Education were surveyed in the first half of the academic year 2014 as to their self‐rated possession of (1) intellectual openness and curiosity, and (2) love and enjoyment of ideas, discovery and learning.</div><div>A 20‐item survey was completed by 342 students and factor analyses resulted in a 15‐item, two highly‐correlated factors, with adequate fit. There were no statistically significant differences between the mean scores of first‐ and final‐year bachelor’s degree students, but bachelor’s degree students were statistically significantly lower than Graduate Diploma students, who had already completed a bachelor degree in a non‐education discipline. Results support the suggestion that having completed a bachelor degree is associated with greater self‐perceived intellectual curiosity and love of ideas.</div>