View Paper

Moving towards student-centred learning: A case study

Author Anne Mangan
Abstract This paper explores how part-time teacher-practitioners coped with the challenge of managing their professional development and investigates ways that they might be facilitated to improve their teaching for the purpose of better supporting students' learning. In order to achieve this, the author set out to determine teachers perception of their role in teaching and learning and to identify those factors, which encourage and act as barriers to changing teaching practice. Method: A semi-structured interview was carried out with six part-time teachers and the emerging themes were investigated further through individual interviews. These were transcribed and coded and phenomenology used as a framework for qualitative analysis. Results: Implementing a student-centred approach is challenging and unlikely to be successful without a clear focus on the support measures that need to be put in place. Teachers' perception of their role in teaching and learning was closely related to their experience as learners in formal educational settings, which for most participants of this study was teacher-centred and content orientated. Four factors in particular acted as triggers and barriers to changing teaching practice: teachers' beliefs and values; experience in implementing change; student feedback; and staff development. Conclusion: The results suggested that the current staff development programme provides teachers with some support and encouragement for changing teaching practice. There is a growing awareness of their teaching role and a heightened sense of identity. Factors that act as triggers or barriers to changing teaching practice for one teacher may not be significant for another, therefore individual differences of teachers need to be accommodated in as far as is possible. Further development should include explicit modelling of the staff-development programme on a student-centred approach and providing opportunity for teachers to increase their conception of teaching and learning. This could be achieved primarily through teaching teams being facilitated in: changing their view of knowledge and how learning occurs through exploring their experiential learning; understanding their perception of the effects of their teaching situation on their teaching; and the effects of their teaching on their students' learning. Now four year on, teaching teams have become the norm and continue to provide a framework for teacher professional development
Keywords Student-centred, teacher-centred, teacher professional development, changing teaching practice, implementing educational change, teacher identity, part-time teacher/practitioner, student feedback, teachers' beliefs and values.
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2011
Link PDF