TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS ABOUT ONE’S OWN PROCESS OF LEARNING AND ABOUT STUDENT’S LEARNING
1 Institute of Educational Sciences (ROMANIA)
2 University of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The paper presents an ongoing interest of our institutions in analyzing the Romanian teachers´ perceptions, conceptions and beliefs about learning. Due to the fact that teacher perceptions of their own activity are triggers for their actions supporting fine-tuning didactic approaches, we wanted to know what are the meanings that teachers are generally attaching to students’ learning and their competency of learning to learn and, consequently, how teachers are thinking the design the learning environments that enhance or, at least, do not inhibit learning and learning to learn (factors relevant also for their own process of learning). The research looked for diversity in the ways teachers ¨see¨ their role on a continuum from the role of teacher as an inspirator, facilitator of learning process to the role as direct provider of learning techniques to students. The exploratory research was based on integrating the documentary analysis, educational policy and research papers that present the state of the art on the topic at hand and our insights on classroom practice obtained in some qualitative researches carried out in the last years. The data has been collected from several recent researches based on focus group method and surveys.
The value of the research consists in the focus on several differences between the values and practices intended to be instilled in the classroom by policy documents referring to the national curriculum and in-service teacher training, and issues such as teachers’ perceptions about how student’s learning happened and declared teaching practices to improve educational outcomes. Our research also adds value to the evidence about teaching for learning through extending the pool of knowledge about the ¨interpreted¨ classroom practice that enforces or infringes the skills of “autonomous learner” – a critical schooling aim in Romania, where it was often claimed by researchers that the practice still tacitly supports cultivating the dependency of learners on their teachers.
The data was organized into several categories such as: the relationship between the teachers’ perceptions of effective learning and how a student that knows how to learn should look like, the relationship between the declared teaching practices and opinions about one’s own process of learning, profiles of the "good teacher" and of the "good student, stimulating factors of learning, teacher’s roles as learning partner and counselor.
The research has revealed that in terms of teaching and assessment methodologies, at least on a declarative level, the teachers seem to leave behind the knowledge-based perspective in favor of reflecting on learning environments factors that could foster or infringe the development of student competences. During the discussions, they referred to stimulating factors of learning, such as relaxed classroom climate, formative assessment, based on a constant support of learning, not on spotting out and penalizing errors, getting students motivated for learning through: interactive teaching strategies. Another conclusion drawn was that teachers are not used to directly teach learning techniques to their students. Furthermore, teachers recognized their limits in assuming the roles as learning partner and counselor. Generally, research lead to a composite image of what “teaching for learning/learning to learn” should mean into practice.