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The evolution of Mexican EFL teachers’ beliefs about student-centred learning in relation to their teaching practices

Bremner, Nicholas James (2017) The evolution of Mexican EFL teachers’ beliefs about student-centred learning in relation to their teaching practices. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study analysed the educational life histories of five EFL teachers at a Mexican university. The aims of the study were: 1) to explore how these teachers’ beliefs about student-centred learning had evolved over the course of their lives; and 2) to examine the relationships between their beliefs and teaching practices at different points in time. In order to achieve these aims, a life history approach was adopted, which incorporated a series of extended interviews as well as an innovative timeline activity. Classroom observations and student focus groups were also included, mainly for triangulation purposes. The four main findings which emerged from the study were as follows. Firstly, all five teachers’ felt their early beliefs about teaching were predominately teacher-centred, which appeared to be linked to their immersion in the generally teacher-centred Mexican educational culture. Secondly, all five teachers felt that their beliefs eventually became more student-centred over the course of their educational life histories. These changes towards more student-centred beliefs were attributed to a number of experiences the teachers had over the course of their lives, and in particular, the characteristics of certain training courses. Thirdly, despite all the teachers eventually starting to believe in more student-centred approaches, they reported that they were rarely able to fully put these beliefs into practices. These mismatches between beliefs and practices seem to have been linked to a number of contextual constraints which they encountered within their working contexts. Finally, all five teachers started to believe in more “hybrid” approaches to teaching by the ends of their educational life histories. This implied using a combination of teacher- and student-centred practices, depending on how appropriate they were perceived to be within their specific contexts. The emergence of this more “hybrid” approach raises important questions about what we should realistically expect from educational changes and whether student-centred learning should still be considered the undisputed “gold standard” of education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: beliefs, teacher cognition, student-centred learning, learner-centred education, learning-centred education
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.714297
Depositing User: Mr Nicholas James Bremner
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 10:02
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17539

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