How lecturers experience student-centred teaching
This thesis reports the findings of an essentially phenomenographic research study into nurse teachers’ Conceptions of Student-Centred Teaching and Student-Centred Approaches to Teaching. The focus on the experience of student-centred aspects of teaching is a departure from previous research from this perspective in Higher Education that has focused upon teachers’ experience of teaching. The approach and focus of this study is also a departure from research into student-centred teaching in nurse education. Previous research in Higher Education has identified and reported qualitative variation in conceptions of teaching and qualitative variation in approaches to teaching and these have been categorised as either teacher-centred or student-centred. However, the interpretation and separation of conceptions of teaching and approaches to teaching has been largely as a result of the researchers’ interpretation of what it means to be teacher-centred or student-centred in teaching. This study aimed at identifying the qualitative variation that exists in conceptions of student-centred teaching and student-centred approaches to teaching from the perspectives of those nurse teachers who claimed to adopt student-centred methods in their teaching practice. The findings of this study indicate that there are significant qualitative differences in nurse teachers’ conceptions of student-centred teaching and their approaches to student-centred teaching than has hitherto been identified. In both cases a limited number of qualitatively different categories of description were identified (5 in each case) ranging from approaches to teaching that result in the reproduction of expert knowledge and skills to students developing their professional attitudes and values (affective components), and acquisition of disciplinary concepts and skills to student self-empowerment conceptions of student-centred teaching. This study also reports that the relations between conceptions of student-centred teaching and student-centred approaches to teaching are significantly different from previous research in this area, and suggests that some teachers holding student development conceptions of student- centred teaching adopt a similar sophisticated approach to student-centred teaching despite the existence of qualitative variation in their conceptions of student-centred teaching. This research extends our awareness of the experience of student-centred teaching. Finally, the implications of these findings for teacher development are discussed.