Instructional Science

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 485–504 | Cite as

Student Learning Theory goes (back) to (high) school

  • Paul Ginns
  • Andrew J. Martin
  • Brad Papworth


Biggs’ 3P (Presage–Process–Product) model, a key framework in Student Learning Theory, provides a powerful means of understanding relations between students’ perceptions of the teaching and learning environment, learning strategies, and learning outcomes. While influential in higher education, fewer tests of the model in secondary education contexts have been conducted. We investigated relations between Presage, Process and Product variables in the Australian secondary education context, using a wider range of Presage variables than is typical, as well as a novel set of outcomes (class participation, homework completion, and educational aspirations). Australian students (N = 5,198) from 13 high schools participated in the study, completing a paper-based survey in class. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test for construct validity of scales. Structural equation modeling was used to determine the fit of the hypothesised 3P model to the data, and estimate direct and indirect effects between Presage, Process and Product variables. Across the Presage variables, academic self-efficacy and perceived teacher support had the strongest direct effects on outcome variables, as well as the strongest indirect effects through the Product variables. Demographic (e.g., age, gender, parental education) and personological (e.g., Big five personality measures) covariates were generally less salient. The present study illustrates the utility of the 3P model in contemporary secondary education settings. Building academic self-efficacy and positive perceptions of teacher support should enhance both the Processes and Products of learning in secondary settings.


Student Learning Theory 3P model High school Academic self-efficacy Teaching support 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of SydneyDarlingtonAustralia

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