Research on Learning That Lasts
Alverno's research on learning outcomes has been an integrated effort in which faculty, researchers, advisors, administrators and others collaborated in a program dedicated to the deep and durable learning of students from a variety of backgrounds. This work, spanning over 20 years, was published under the title Learning That Lasts to emphasize the focus on the complex and enduring character of college learning.
In the formal research, full cohorts of women were followed from entry to college to five years after graduation. Longitudinal data were collected from a battery of human potential measures, representing different dimensions of intellectual, moral, and holistic development, at multiple points across college and then years later as alumnae. A much smaller sample of participants (100) participated in intense perspective interviews to gain fuller insight into the experience of their learning. Performance data were collected from college records and extrapolated from a Behavioral Event Interview with the alumnae.
The integrated analysis of these data combined with collaborative studies in the curriculum and interpreted by educators across the college provided the basis for an educational theory of the person. For us, the learning-to-teaching connection proceeds through educator conversations into a theory of learning that lasts that both informs and is informed by practice. This website provides updates from our current studies as they become available. Our goal is to stimulate further conversation that challenges us to collectively examine the assumptions and learning principles that underlie our educational practices.
The book provides full documentation for the signature longitudinal study, the collaborative inquiry, and the curriculum processes that led to the learning that lasts formulation.