Five teacher profiles in student-centred curricula based on their conceptions of learning and teaching

J.C.G. Jacobs, S.J. van Luijk, F. Galindo Garre, A.M.M. Muijtjens, C.P.M. van der Vleuten, G. Croiset, F. Scheele

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23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Teachers' conceptions of learning and teaching are partly unconscious. However, they are critical for the delivery of education and affect students' learning outcomes. Lasting changes in teaching behaviour can only be realized if conceptions of teachers have been changed accordingly. Previously we constructed a questionnaire named COLT to measure conceptions. In the present study, we investigated if different teacher profiles could be assessed which are based on the teachers' conceptions. These teacher profiles might have implications for individual teachers, for faculty development activities and for institutes. Our research questions were: (1) Can we identify teacher profiles based on the COLT? (2) If so, how are these teacher profiles associated with other teacher characteristics? Methods: The COLT questionnaire was sent electronically to all teachers in the first three years of the undergraduate curriculum of Medicine in two medical schools in the Netherlands with student-centred education. The COLT (18 items, 5 point Likert scales) comprises three scales: 'teacher centredness', 'appreciation of active learning' and 'orientation to professional practice'. We also collected personal information about the participants and their occupational characteristics. Teacher profiles were studied using a K-means cluster analysis and calculating Chi squares. Results: The response rate was 49.4% (N = 319/646). A five-cluster solution fitted the data best, resulting in five teacher profiles based on their conceptions as measured by the COLT. We named the teacher profiles: Transmitters (most traditional), Organizers, Intermediates, Facilitators and Conceptual Change Agents (most modern). The teacher profiles differed from each other in personal and occupational characteristics. Conclusions: Based on teachers' conceptions of learning and teaching, five teacher profiles were found in student-centred education. We offered suggestions how insight into these teacher profiles might be useful for individual teachers, for faculty development activities and for institutes and departments, especially if involved in a curriculum reform towards student-centred education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number220
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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