Central University of Technology, Free State (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 57-63
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0030
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
The study assessed pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their actual classroom environments and the extent to which their perceptions could be used to improve teaching and learning at an institution of higher learning in South Africa. The sample comprised 66 student teachers (52 females and 14 males) enrolled in a four-year Bachelor of Education degree, specialisation Languages. In addition to the two languages that the students do as their major subjects, they also do a compulsory module, Education, at the third-year level of study. The College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) was used to collect data from the student teachers. Students’ perceptions of their actual classroom environment were measured on a four-point Likert type scale with the alternatives of strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree. The use of the CUCEI was supplemented by an open-ended question which was specifically asked to probe further on student teachers’ experiences of their classroom environment. The findings of the CUCEI showed that the students’ perceptions of their involvement in class ranked high, indicating a moderate to high perception of the tertiary learning environment. Whilst the students indicated a positive use of innovative teaching strategies in this particular classroom, task orientation was also ranked highly, indicating that the lecturer still dominated the classroom. The open-ended question revealed both positive and negative experiences. The student teachers’ perceived positive class experiences included a positive environment that has been created for them to participate in class through oral presentations including discussions; encouragement and assistance given to students; and emotional stability of the lecturer. The negative aspects revolved around the work overload and inadequate time to prepare for tests. The latter have alerted teacher educators to the concerns that the students have about the course.
Pre-service teachers, classroom environment, lecturers, South Africa.