Students’ conceptions of knowledge, the role of the teacher and learner as important factors in a didactic school reform

Educational Studies 33 (1):29-40 (2007)
Abstract
In the first part of this paper, conceptions of trainee teachers are defined, together with their importance for the process of teacher education. Many studies concerning teacher conceptions and models of teacher development show that the conceptions of instruction, knowledge, and teacher and learner roles are a key part of the teacher’s professional equipment. They affect his/her thinking, experiences and actions, and thus directly determine the quality of instruction and the teacher’s professional growth. The Slovene school system has been undergoing many changes in the past decade. The success of the reforms largely depends on the way teachers perceive knowledge and other basic educational categories. The purpose of the present study was to identify the conceptions of knowledge, teacher and learner roles held by the student teachers in primary education at the beginning of their professional training. Numerous categorizations of these conceptions were reviewed to form a four‐tiered hierarchic taxonomy of conception categories, ranging from teacher and content centred to learner and learning centred. The study shows that trainee teachers largely hold conceptions typical of the transmission model of education. The key question arising from this is how to shift the students’ conceptions towards a modern, cognitive‐constructivist model of education, which is an important basis for the didactic reform of the Slovene school system
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DOI 10.1080/03055690600948166
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