Kriteria en strategieë vir die optimering van kontaktyd in die bereiking van leeruitkomste in die geografie-opleiding van onderwysstudente
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With the acceptance of Outcomes-based Education (OBE) in South Africa, the emphasis shifted from a teacher-centred to a learner-centred instruction approach. The learner-centred teaching approach of OBE is based on the social constructivistic teaching view. This view is based on the fundamental acceptance that people construe knowledge through interaction between their existing knowledge and beliefs and new ideas or situations within a social environment or milieu. It is thus essential that future Geography education students receive training in a similar manner as that which is expected of them as future practising teachers. Lecturers' and students' beliefs and perceptions of how instruction must take place, in the majority of cases, still support the traditional direct instruction approach where lecturers transfer knowledge to students mainly through formal lectures. The acceptance of the social constructivistic teaching approach for the training of Geography education students implies that the beliefs of lecturers and students as well as their roles in the teaching learning process, must change. This means that the purpose of contact time between lecturer and students must necessarily change. Contact time should not just be used by the lecturer for presenting content. It is the task of the Geography lecturer to create a learning environment where students are actively involved in cooperative learning environments in the learning process. The lecturer acts as facilitator, guide, enabler and fellow-explorer in the learning process. Contact sessions must be used to offer the students the opportunity to report back on the learning assignments and activities or to reflect on what has been learnt. Continuous formative assessment takes place during contact and non-contact times to give quick feedback on learning. The lecturer and students are involved in the assessment process. Clear assessment criteria must be compiled by the lecturer in cooperation with students so that the students will know precisely what is expected of them. Together with the learner-centred teaching approach, certain universities worldwide have been obliged to decrease contact time between lecturer and student. Reasons for this can mainly be ascribed to an increase in student numbers and to effectively vii manage the lecturers' time so that more time can be spent on research. The lecturer is supposed to design and plan a specific module so that the set learning outcomes could be achieved within the reduced time. Different guidelines are identified in the context of reducing contact time so as to ensure the effective achievement of learning outcomes. The lecturer should prepare, plan and manage contact time. Students must also accept larger responsibility for independent learning and attain some of the learning outcomes during non-contact times. To support students during non-contact times and to guide them in the attainment of learning outcomes and completion of assignments, students must make use of resource-based learning. The interactive study guide and work planning, as developed and compiled by the lecturer, is necessary for providing students with assistance and guidance so that students know precisely what is expected of them, what resources to use and when. It is furthermore necessary that the assessment strategies, that are used in the teaching of Geography, support the decrease in contact time. Bigger responsibility is given to students in the assessment process and is included in self and peer group assessment of and feedback to assignments. The Geography education lecturer involved in the development of the different Geography modules must make sure that over-assessment does not take place, but that students are exposed to multiple assessment methods. Decision-making by university management on decreased contact time was probably taken without considering the full implications for learner-centred teaching. This study is an attempt to implement a learner-centred teaching approach in the Geography training of education students within the optimising of contact time between lecturer and students. A concept model for the Geography training of education students was developed to ensure the successful attainment of learning outcomes. The perception and attitudes of the students regarding the concept model in Geography-training within the optimising of contact time was analysed, after which the examination results of the students were compared with results of previous years. From the information required in the literature as well as in the implementation of the concept model in Geography training, criteria and strategies for the effective training of Geography teachers in the optimising of contact time were developed.
- Education