Conceptions of good teaching and how they influence the way adults and school leavers are taught
Seventeen lecturers in three departments in a university were interviewed about their conceptions of good teaching, their perceptions of the differences between adult and full-time students, and the actual strategies and methods they employed in their practice of teaching the two student groups. Results showed that there were common perceptions of the way adult students differed from their full-time adolescent counterparts. However, they reacted differently to those perceived differences. Three major types of accommodation were found: catering for weakness, treating both groups in the same way, and remediating weaknesses. The lecturers' conceptions of good teaching could be categorized into two main categories: transmissive and facilitative. Cross-tabulation of the teaching conception of the individual lecturers with their orientation to accommodation showed that those holding a transmissive conception tended to cater for the weakness of their students or make no distinction between teaching adult and full-time students. Those perceiving teaching as facilitating learning were more likely to try to remediate the weaknesses of their students.