An Exploration of the Perceptions and Attitudes of Senegalese Professors Toward Learner-Centered Instructional Strategies in Agriculture Courses
Gichane, Wangui C
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Like many African nations, Senegalese education emphasizes teaching approaches characterized by lecture-driven courses and information memorization.The objective of the study was to assess the needs for employing learner-centered practices and challenges professors' faced in terms of current teaching and learning methods at five Senegalese higher-education institutions. An explanatory mixed method study was designed to assess professors' teaching strategies, attitudes toward learner-centered methods, social climate at the institutions, perceived confidence in effectively incorporating these methods, as well as the challenges faced in current teaching and learning approaches. Results showed professors had positive attitudes towards learner-centered methods and thought they were effective teaching techniques. Professors also indicated that they felt little to no pressure from their peers or institutions in employing other methods and some felt confident enough to use learner-centered strategies properly. Data also revealed that the culture of instruction and the constraints in teaching were the primary obstacles preventing professors from effectively incorporating the methods in their classrooms. The study's findings indicated that: 1) addressing the normative beliefs and social norms toward learner-centered methods requires an understanding of the cultural context of Senegalese instruction and 2) professional trainings can make a marked difference in how professors think about teaching practice, as well as increase self-efficacy that can influence their behavior toward more learner-centered strategies.
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