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Title: Thai pre-service teachers' beliefs about the learner-centred approach and their classroom practices
Authors: Naruemon, Darett
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The learner-centred approach has been widely used, not only in general education, but also in language teaching, since the 1960s. However, the meaning of this approach has been interpreted differently by practitioners. Since 1999, the educational reform in Thailand, which was inspired by the 1997 Constitution and the 1999 Thai National Education Act, has made it mandatory for the learner-centred approach to be applied to teaching at all levels. To date, much research on the implementation of the learner-centred approach by in-service teachers has been undertaken. However, little research has been conducted on pre-service teachers’ beliefs about the learner-centred approach and their classroom practices. Understanding pre-service teachers’ beliefs will contribute to the improvement of their teaching practices and of teacher education programmes. The study explored six Thai pre-service English teachers’ understanding and the extent to which their classroom practices reflected learner-centredness during their internship, and determined the relationship between their beliefs and classroom practices. The investigation adopted a qualitative approach, including semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations, and document analysis. The findings reveal that the Thai pre-service teachers possessed varying degrees of understanding of the learner-centred approach and its application. They had a superficial and fragmented understanding of and some misconceptions about the learner-centred approach. They therefore adopted this approach to teaching in a limited fashion during their internship. The divergences between their beliefs and their classroom practices may have been caused by their shallow understanding of and their misconceptions about this approach. Other factors, such as personal background and cognitive, affective, experiential and contextual issues could also have impacted on classroom practices, inhibiting the translation of their beliefs into practice. iii This study has important and far-reaching curriculum implications for pre-service teacher training in Thailand with regard to the new model of pre-service teacher training. The findings also have pedagogical implications for pre-service teacher training beyond Thailand, and add to the literature new insights into pre-service teachers’ understanding of the learner-centred approach, their pedagogical practices, and factors facilitating and hindering the application of the learner-centred approach. The findings demonstrate that research on teachers’ beliefs makes the most noteworthy contributions to a better understanding of teachers’ pedagogical practices.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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