Making connections : conceptions of teaching and learning in secondary teacher education.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis investigates the conceptions of teaching and learning held by a small group of students completing a one year course in secondary teacher education at the Christchurch College of Education. Seven students were interviewed, observed and surveyed over a period of eight months, to track the development in their conceptions and the factors impacting on this development. The phenomenographic interview formed the primary means of data collection. Conceptions emerging from the data were categorised in terms of their fundamental differences. Findings are presented in two parts. Firstly a profile of each student is constructed from the data gathered; each profile concludes with a brief authorial comment. Secondly, conceptions of teaching and learning are categorised and compared with existing categories of conceptions. While the students' conceptions of learning are found to correspond closely to existing categories, different categories of conceptions of teaching have been identified. A model of conceptions of teaching is presented in which the categories are considered to be complementary rather than hierarchical. This thesis suggests that there is a close link between students' conceptions of learning and their approaches to teaching; that prior educational experiences, especially the influence of significant teachers, has a strong and lasting impact on students' ideas about teaching and learning; that these ideas undergo modification rather than substantial change as a result of pre-service teacher education; that time constraints and the teaching approaches of some associate teachers in schools may encourage students to adopt teaching methods which encourage surface approaches to learning in their pupils; and that effective teaching should draw on all three categories of conceptions of teaching presented in the model.