An investigation of learner centred techniques in delivering the teaching programmes at the college of education in Sri Lanka

Khan, Beebi Hajar Jhan, Jhan Mohamed

September 2005

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© 2005 Jhan Mohamed Beebi Hajar Jhan Khan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This study focused on the teaching approaches that help the development and consistent application of learner centred techniques in teacher education in Sri Lanka. More specifically, investigation was undertaken to find out 'Are teachers in ITE institutions using learner-centred techniques and if not, what are the best ways of implementing such 'changes'? This study attempted to provide a treatment of the issues that pertained to the application and relationship between teaching method and learner interaction. The literature was reviewed on learner centredness and management of change. Importantly, Sri Lankan teacher education context was analysed in order to understand the suitable learner centred approach for their own settings. An in-depth review of literature revealed that an emergent research design case-study approach would help to explore the present practice in adopting learner centred techniques regarding the delivery of teaching programmes. Firstly, a quantitative approach (questionnaire) was deployed to gather the preliminary data. Then, the qualitative approach was deployed in this study and appropriate data were gathered through focus group discussions, interviews, observation and documentary sources.

The outcomes of the study suggested that the teachers understood and recognised learner centerdness in their own context. Almost all of them expected a certain degree of respect and control. The above values are borne out of their own Sri Lankan culture. The Sri Lanka teacher education system is nurtured by Buddhist philosophy. Moreover, the entire education system expects 'respect' and 'guru' status. Even though teachers understood the theory of learner centredness, they prefer to impart certain changes in implementing it in the Sri Lankan context. Therefore the study suggested that this college needed to change its teaching approaches in order to maintain effective learner centred practices. Final recommendations were made based on the empirical findings and literature implications.

Institute for Learning, The University of Hull
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