Teacher and Student-focused Approaches: influence of learning approach and self-efficacy in a psychology postgraduate sample

Linda Kaye, Gayle Brewer

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Abstract

The current study examined approaches to teaching in a postgraduate psychology sample. This included considering teaching-focused (information transfer) and student-focused (conceptual changes in understanding) approaches to teaching. Postgraduate teachers of psychology (N = 113) completed a questionnaire measuring their use of a teacher or student-focused approach, deep and surface approaches to learning and teaching and research self-efficacy. Standard multiple regressions revealed that the manner in which postgraduate students approached their own studies (i.e. deep or surface learning approach) predicted the use of a teacher or student focused approach in their teaching practice. Specifically, postgraduates adopting a deep approach to their own learning were more likely to adopt a teaching focused approach to their teaching practice. Those adopting a surface approach to their own studies were most likely to adopt a student focused approach. Furthermore, postgraduates with a high level of teaching self-efficacy were more likely to adopt a student focused approach to teaching practice. Additionally, postgraduates who had received formal teaching training scored higher on teacher self-efficacy than those who had not received such training. Taken together, the findings suggest the key role of formal training in enhancing self-efficacy in teaching, and demonstrate an association between the learning styles adopted by postgraduate teachers and their approach to teaching and highlight an area that has, to date, received little theoretical or empirical attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
JournalPsychology Learning and Teaching Journal
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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self-efficacy
psychology
Teaching
teacher
learning
student
teaching practice
regression
questionnaire

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title = "Teacher and Student-focused Approaches: influence of learning approach and self-efficacy in a psychology postgraduate sample",
abstract = "The current study examined approaches to teaching in a postgraduate psychology sample. This included considering teaching-focused (information transfer) and student-focused (conceptual changes in understanding) approaches to teaching. Postgraduate teachers of psychology (N = 113) completed a questionnaire measuring their use of a teacher or student-focused approach, deep and surface approaches to learning and teaching and research self-efficacy. Standard multiple regressions revealed that the manner in which postgraduate students approached their own studies (i.e. deep or surface learning approach) predicted the use of a teacher or student focused approach in their teaching practice. Specifically, postgraduates adopting a deep approach to their own learning were more likely to adopt a teaching focused approach to their teaching practice. Those adopting a surface approach to their own studies were most likely to adopt a student focused approach. Furthermore, postgraduates with a high level of teaching self-efficacy were more likely to adopt a student focused approach to teaching practice. Additionally, postgraduates who had received formal teaching training scored higher on teacher self-efficacy than those who had not received such training. Taken together, the findings suggest the key role of formal training in enhancing self-efficacy in teaching, and demonstrate an association between the learning styles adopted by postgraduate teachers and their approach to teaching and highlight an area that has, to date, received little theoretical or empirical attention.",
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AB - The current study examined approaches to teaching in a postgraduate psychology sample. This included considering teaching-focused (information transfer) and student-focused (conceptual changes in understanding) approaches to teaching. Postgraduate teachers of psychology (N = 113) completed a questionnaire measuring their use of a teacher or student-focused approach, deep and surface approaches to learning and teaching and research self-efficacy. Standard multiple regressions revealed that the manner in which postgraduate students approached their own studies (i.e. deep or surface learning approach) predicted the use of a teacher or student focused approach in their teaching practice. Specifically, postgraduates adopting a deep approach to their own learning were more likely to adopt a teaching focused approach to their teaching practice. Those adopting a surface approach to their own studies were most likely to adopt a student focused approach. Furthermore, postgraduates with a high level of teaching self-efficacy were more likely to adopt a student focused approach to teaching practice. Additionally, postgraduates who had received formal teaching training scored higher on teacher self-efficacy than those who had not received such training. Taken together, the findings suggest the key role of formal training in enhancing self-efficacy in teaching, and demonstrate an association between the learning styles adopted by postgraduate teachers and their approach to teaching and highlight an area that has, to date, received little theoretical or empirical attention.

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