The courage to change: challenges for teacher educators
AbstractWith the introduction of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), the education system in South Africa changed from content-based to outcomes-based education (OBE). The Faculty of Education at the University of South Africa (UNISA) also endeavoured to shift to OBE. In addition, the faculty had been criticised for the poor quality of certain of its distance-education material and, consequently, several lecturers engaged in rewriting learning material. During the transition period, when materials written according to ";old"; approaches and already-updated new materials, were simultaneously in use, research was undertaken to determine the preferences of Honours BEd learners regarding learning material. Questionnaires were mailed to 2 421 Honours BEd learners residing in South Africa and 818 were returned. Analysis of the returned questionnaires indicated that the learners revealed ambiguity in their responses. They recorded a willingness to move towards more meaningful learning approaches. Yet, at the same time they seemed to prefer traditional teaching practices for various reasons. This finding poses special challenges to lecturers if learners are to realise effective learning. To be able to meet these challenges, lecturers need to change their traditional teaching practice and therefore require relevant training. Training should focus on course design, the use of media other than print, and contemporary learning theories.
(South African Journal of Education: 2003 23 (1): 6-12)
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