Student Teachers’ Perceptions about Their Experiences in a Student Centered Course
There is a growing need to provide curricula that meets the changing needs of students in higher education. To train
pre-service teachers according to the demands of the new educational contexts, the move from teacher-centered curricula to learning-centered curricula is a must. The aim of this research is to examine the currently used curriculum of EGIT 450 Student Centered Education (SCE) course to highlight suggestions for a better design and implementation of the SCE approach. A qualitative paradigm was used with an interpretive methodology. The participants of the study were the 37 third year undergraduate students enrolled in the course at one of the tertiary institutions in North Cyprus. Qualitative data were collected through end-of-the-semester reflective essays and analyzed through content analysis method. The findings revealed that SCE methodology helped improve student teachers’ cognitive skills via holding an active role and their affective skills through group work activities emphasizing its effect on permanent learning and learning how to learn. Participants also pointed out the difficulty and complexity of the roles expected from the teacher and learners individually and cooperatively. The inefficiency of some of the teaching-learning activities, physical characteristics of the classroom setting and duration of the allocated time for the activities were among the weak aspects of the course.
Keywords: affective skills, course design, cognitive skills, curriculum design, student centered education