'n Analise van onderwysers se opvoedkundige oortuigings oor onderrig, kennis en leer / J.M. Strydom
Strydom, Janine Margaritha
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This research was conducted to determine what the nature of teachers’ educational beliefs about teaching, knowledge and learning are, whether there is a relation between their educational beliefs and the way in which they instruct, and if a relation exists, what the nature of such a relation is. Teachers’ educational beliefs about the way in which learners learn and what they are supposed to learn, have a major influence on how the teacher instructs and on how the learners achieve. Educational beliefs are a comprehensive phenomenon and include beliefs about everything. Educational beliefs generally refer to beliefs about teaching, knowledge and learning. The construct epistemological beliefs are actually also used in the literature and can be seen as the more restricted construct that only includes beliefs about knowledge and learning. Both constructs are used in this study. The phenomenon of educational beliefs is used concerning the beliefs about teaching, knowledge and learning, whilst the phenomenon of epistemological beliefs are used when concerned with the beliefs about knowledge and learning. Educational beliefs vary from naïve to sophisticated. Teachers are characterised according to their educational beliefs about teaching as more teacher–centered or more learner–centered. Teachers who are more teacher–centered have more naïve epistemological beliefs and promote superficial learning, which leads to lower academic performances. Conversely, teachers who are more learner–centered have more sophisticated epistemological beliefs that promote an in depth approach to learning, which leads to higher academic performances. The implementation of Outcomes Based Education (OBE) requires inter alia a learner–centered teaching approach and more sophisticated epistemological beliefs. These requirements of OBE poses a major challenge to teachers with more naive epistemological beliefs, because beliefs develop over years and are deeply rooted and difficult to change. With this study it was found that the participants’ epistemological beliefs could be typified as a system including more and less sophisticated epistemological beliefs, thus they did not only have naïve or sophisticated epistemological beliefs. It was also found that the participants of this study were more learner–centered than teacher–centered. Participants with more naïve epistemological beliefs were more teacher–centered compared to participants who had less naïve, thus more sophisticated epistemological beliefs that were more learner–centered. A relation was found between teachers with more naïve epistemological beliefs and a teacher–centered approach and teachers with less naïve epistemological beliefs (thus more sophisticated epistemological beliefs) and a learner–centered approach.
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