A study of science student teachers' perceptions of learning in the education colleges in the Sultanate of Oman
The initial aim of this study was to explore the changes in the students’ perceptions of learning over their study years in the education colleges in the Sultanate of Oman. A number of years ago Perry developed a scheme to describe students’ perceptions of learning. Johnstone adapted this scheme. In both the original scheme and the adaptation, the development of students’ perceptions of learning was considered in four areas: the lecturers’ role, the student’s role, the nature of scientific knowledge, and assessment. The Johnstone’s adaptation was used in this study. The first stage was to carry out a survey with a sample of 889 students and 1165 pupils from education colleges (age 18-22) and secondary schools (age 15-18). The schools data provided a background against which the student data could be considered. A questionnaire was devised and distributed to three study years in secondary schools and four study years in the education colleges. The results show that although there is a growth in students’ perceptions of learning over their study years, this growth varied from area to area. In the areas of the lecturer’s role the growth was generally good. In the area of the nature of scientific knowledge the growth was very poor while in the assessment area the growth was good in some questions and poor in others. The results also revealed that students’ perceptions of learning correlated positively with their academic performance. It was also evident that females in general had better perceptions of learning than males. In secondary schools, it appeared that science stream students had better perceptions of learning science than arts stream students but this may merely reflect the contextual nature of Perry development.