Perceptions of Grade 8-12 Mathematics Teachers on Learner Centred Education (LCE)
Keywords:Grade 8-12 Mathematics teachers, perceptions, training, learner centred education, teacher centred education, methods, technology, Namibia
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MEAC) in the Republic of Namibia advocates and encourages teaching in schools through Learner Centred Education (LCE). This call and expectation are evidenced in the vast number of school instructional leadership documents in favour of LCE including the Classroom Observation Instrument (COI), LCE policy  and the National Policy Guide for the Junior Primary Phase . However, our 10 years of experience as mentor teachers of Junior Secondary Mathematics teachers suggests that a great number of teachers in schools, including recently trained Mathematics teachers, have a slanted notion of LCE and are subsequently confused as to how to apply this advocated approach in their Mathematics lessons. Thus, the focus of this research project. This research made use of two semi-structured instruments, questionnaires and interviews to explore perceptions of eight Grade 8-12 Mathematics teachers on LCE. All the participating teachers hailed from the two regions of //Kharas and Oshikoto, Namibia. The analysis of data suggests three conclusions with serious implications. First, teacher’s training institutions only practice Teacher Centred Education (TCE). Second, the study also found that Grade 8-12 Mathematics teachers preferred TCE methods to teach Mathematics, in varying Namibian school situations such as large class groups, ill-disciplined learners and even gifted learners, as well as learners who were not eager to learn or ready to perform. However, sometimes TCE does not challenge slower learners to learn and/or think critically and logically. Third, it was found that Grade 8-12 Mathematics teachers needed further training on understanding and applying LCE, as well as training to use technology to teach some topics of Mathematics. Furthermore, the study strongly recommends immediate review of the LCE policy in Namibia.
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