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TEACHERS' EVALUATION OF STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Assoc. D R . ZHAL UBUKU Eskiehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Education Eskiehir, Turkey zcubukcu @ogu .edu.tr Problem Statement: The student-centered teaching is the arrangement of the teaching experience focusing on the students' responsibilities and activities in the learning process which takes into consideration the students' interests, demands and needs. According to this approach, while teaching experiences are planned, different learning strategies and styles of students are taken into account. A student who can reach information is more valuable than the one who memorizes it. The Aim of Study: The aim of this study is to determine teachers' evaluations of their own classes in terms of the student-centered learning environment dimensions of time, place and infrastructure, psyco-social aspect. Methods: The research is descriptive in design. In this study, a data collection instrument was used that lends itself for teachers to evaluate their classes in terms of the dimensions of studentcentered learning; namely time, place, infrastructure and psycho-social. Findings: Teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in relation to different variables highlight that teaching area is an effective factor putting elementary school teaching at an advantage in terms of scores. Teachers, when asked to evaluate the dimensions of student-centered learning environments, have given the highest score to psycho-social dimension, followed by time, equipment and place dimensions. Conclusions and Discussion: Basen on the results of the study, the following suggestions are made. Teachers, while determining on educational models and approaches in their teaching-learning process, should ensure that it allows students to learn on their own. Within the school and class context, teachers should allocate time for activities that increase student-centered learning, individual and social activities like extra-curricular activits, student club activities. Teachers should be offered chances of in-service training so that they can improve their skills and gain knowledge about student-centered learning with respect to their teaching areas. Keywords: Learning environment, student-centered education, student-centered teaching/learning, learning environment dimensions Introduction stages of decision making, planning, appli-

The concept of student-centered education has led to perceptual changes in relation to education, learning and teaching. In student-centered teaching, at the 49

cation, and evaluation during the teaching-learning process learners partieipate in the process willingly, showing interest with determination. It can be said

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that student-centered teaching has brought about the change in quesfions from "What should we teach?", "How should we teach?", "With what should we teach?" to a perspective where "What would s/he like to learn?", "What will s/he do to learn?", "What would assist him/her in his/her learning?", 'To what extent did s/he learn?" In other words, in student-centered teaching learners actively participate in the decision making process about what to learn, how to learn, and what kind of help is required, and how to decide how much is learned (Bery, Sharp, 1999; Lea, Sttenhanson & Tray; Hartly, 1987; Sharma, Millar & Seth, 1999; cited in: Acat, 2005). For over 100 years, philosophers such as John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruner, Ferriere, Rousseau, Freinet, Howard Gardner, Gianni Rodari, Bruno Ciari, Maria Montessori and others have reported on the benefits of experiential, hands-on, student-centered learning. Involving learner in decision making and using student interest to drive curriculum and projects supports a growing body of evidence that concurs with these revolutionary philosophers. Learning is not only about knowledge making. Children need to be acve learners within the context of culture, community, and past experiences. Teachers who adhere to student-centered classrooms are influenced strongly by construcfivism, naturalisfic, social constructivism, existenfiahsm, humanism, and progressive philosophies. Student-centered learning, or student centeredness, is a model which puts the student in the center of the learning process. Student-centered learning is a model in which students play an active role in their

own learning styles and learning strategies. While learning, internal motivation is of vital importance. Individual systemizing is more important than standardized systems. Student-centered learning improves learning to learn and learning how to improve skills such as crifical thinking, problem-solving and reflective thinking. Students apply and display different styles. Student-centered learning differs from teacher-centered learning in which it is characterized by the more active role of the learner when compared to the teacher. Student-centered learning helps students to get their own goals for learning, and determine resources and activities guiding them to meet those goals (Jonassen, 2000). Because students pursue their own goals, all of their acfivifies are meaningful to them. Student-centered learning which is based on experiential learning helps knowledge and skills to be grasped more extensively and permananetly (Lont, 1999). Since both students and teachers participate in learning process, teachers are perceived to be a member of teaching environment and students to be the persons whose individual learning needs should be addressed. Thus, teachers by using more recent teaching methods involve students in learning process more actively. This improves and expands teachers' roles, which in ttim contributes to team spirit and and the culture of working together. The properties of student-centered teaching program that was prepared by the Mid-continent Regional Educatinoal Laboratory are as follows (McCombs & Whisler, 1997; cited in: Unver & Demirel, 2004):

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emphasizes tasks that attract students' various interests, organizes content and activities around the subjects that are meaningful to the students, contains clear opportunities that let all students develop their own learning skills and progress to the next level of learning, contains activities that help students understand and improve their own viewpoints, allows for global, interdisciplinary, and complemetary activities, supports challenging learning activities even if the learners find them difficult, and emphasizes activities that encourage students to work with other students in cooperation.
Learning Environment

Learning is a dynamic process during which individuals make internal adjustments individually and develop necessary skills. Thus, in order to enhance effectivess of learning, the learning itself should be the starting point and other concepts, such as instruction and curriculum or teaching techniques, should be built on it. Learning is a process that takes place in mind. Individuals do not merely mechanically react to the internal and external stimuli without thinking. Yet, they develop their own knowledge and patterns of perception in interaction with stimuli that reaches the organism. They form a net of structures out of their interpretations, and they form meanings regarding different dimensions of their daily lives. Since knowledge is not a final product, and since it can be

improved or changed they can perceive an event differently and they can develop different knowledge structures (Yaar, 1998; iman, 2003; imsek, 2004; Senemoglu, 1997). In student-centered learning, the teacher takes a more active role in learning rather than being the person in the center of knowledge. The student, rather than being passive, takes a role in the application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation processes. In learning, the factor of place is everywhere where learning takes place. The time factor shows differences with respect to the learning activity. In addition, in student-centered learning, technology is used in such a way that it realizes teacherstudent and student-student interaction (Brge, 1998). Kolb (1984) argues that active learning is acquired by individuals by doing more than thinking. According to Kolb, active learning can develop by thinking about the details of thoughts, experiences, perceptions, and emotions that come about during experiences. According to this, active learning involves four stages of concrete experience (gaining experience): observation and reflection based on experience, forming abstract concepts, and new experiences. It is possible to participate in this cycle at any stage and follow the cycle in its logical order. Active learning takes place only when these four stages are materialized. Independently none of the stages constitutes active learning (Kili, 2010). Student-centered learning environments provide interactive, complimentary activities that enable individuals to address their unique learning interests and needs, examine content at multiple levels of complexity.

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and deepen understanding (Hannafin, 1992). The concept of a learning environment is not new. Its roots can be traced to early apprendceship. Socratic and similar movements that have sought to immerse individuals in authendc learning experiences, where the meaning of knowledge and skills are realistically embedded (Dewey, 1993; Pask & Boyd, 1987; cited in: Land & Hannafin, 1996). Various learning environments can be classified according to the manner in which they manifest their underlying foundadons. Hannafin and Land (1997) emphasize that educational environments have psychological, technological, cultural and pragmatic principles. All learning environments expHcitly refiect these underlying models for foundations. Psychological principles take as the basis "the individuals' knowledge and skill acquisition, organizadon and application". In studentcentered learning environments, students' experience, content, and the construction of knowledge are important. Psychological foundadons are rooted in beliefs about how individuals think and learn. Pedagogical principles take "acdvides, methods and the structure of learning environments" as their basis. For student-centered learning to take place, exemplifying, discovering, researching, and learning based on problem-solving are vital. Technological principles take "assistant technology and technology to enrich the learning environment" as their basis. In student-centered learning environments, different tools can be implemented in various ways. Technological capabilities constrain or enhance types of learner-system transacdons that are possible. Cultural

principles highlight "social values such as researching, invendng, and cridcal thinking". Student-centered learning environments support researching, discovering, and cridcal thinking. Pragmadc principles cover "economic conditions, technological facilides and the ability to reach innovadons". Pragmadc condidons define the limitations in implementadon; for example, the financial situation. Five foundadons are funcdonally integrated in learning systems designs. Student-centered learning environments are set up in such a way that they give students the chance to take the responsibility for organizing, analyzing and synthesizing knowledge, and consequeny play a more active role in their own learning (Means, 1994). These environments provide students with the opportunities of explaining complex problems and solve those in cooperation, and by applying to different sources (Hannafin & Land, 1997). This approach gives students the chance to take individual responsibility and adapt an active role in the teaching-learning process at the highest level. The mechanisms of self-confidence and self-control in individuals improve at a better rate. Student-centered teaching focuses on the student. Decision-making, organizadon and content are determined for most by taking individual students' needs and interests into consideradon. Student-centered teaching provides opportunities to develop students' skills of transfering knowledge to other situadons, triggering retendon, and adapdng a high motivadon for learning. The active involvement of students helps them to construct knowledge.

Teachers' Evaluation... / 53 Student-centered Learning Environment Dimensions

In student-centered learning environments, it is essential that students takes responsibility for learning, they are directly involved in the discovery of knowledge, the materials used offer students a chance to acdvate their background knowledge, the activides done are based on problemsolving, for cooperative learning to take place, the society, home and workplace are used as sources, and various institutions and outside-class activities are incooperated to support students' learning. Time, place, infrastructure-hardware and psycosocial environment dimensions of the learning environment and the characterisdcs of these dimensions in student-centered learning envirotmients are determined as follows:
Time Dimension

Among the student-centered learning dimensions, it is the one which should have priority. Apart from sufficient dme, it is also important that arrangements should be done for using time efficiently. Time has to be flexible so as to allow changes when necessary. The characterisdcs of the main five components of the dme dimension can be listed as: For the effecdve use of dme in terms of the psychological component, it is important to give students dme to reach information, to construct it cognitively on their own, and to establish a connection between the acquired knowledge and real-life. For the effective use of time in terms of the technological component, technol-

ogy serving communicative purposes should be aimed at; the time used for communicadon should not be limited; and for students to have concrete experience, technology assisted time planning should be made. For the effective use of time in terms of the pedagogical component, students should be given dme to acquire knowledge in natural settings, and flexible dme plan to allow students to learn at their own pace. For the effecdve use of dme in terms of the cultural component; dme should be given so that students can research previous studies, inventions and products related to what is being learned. Time should be left for thorough learning, synthesizing, observing and applying what is learned to social life, work-life, family and society. For the effective use of time in terms of usefulness, dme should be given to realize key learning-teaching conditions aimed at objectives. A dme plan that allows individuals to fulfil their responsibilides and affects the effecdveness of both students and teachers posidvely should be made.

Place Dimension

It is the place where education or various studies take place. In student-centered education, place covers all the places where the student lives and engages in activities. This includes places such as school, schoolyard, library, museums, work-place and home. In student-centered educadon, these places are considered as the ones where real learning takes place. Within this frame-

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work, the basic characteristics of place dimension needs to carry out with respect to the educational environment's basic components can be listed as follows: For effective use of place in terms of the psychological component, places should give students the opportunities for constructing their own knowledge, studying on their own, perceiving knowledge out of class-in, its real-life context, and guiding their learning according to their own individual characteristics. For effective use of place in terms of the technological component, places should ease communication, support learning visually, offer access to various information sources and be accoustically convenient. For effective use of place in terms of the pedagogical component, places should support natural learning, relate to students' individual interests, encourage students to exhibit their skills and products, and support the improvement of problem-solving skills. Places should be established in such a way that teachers and students can communicate comfortably, students can produce and observe their own products, perform group work and study in cooperation. For effective use of place in terms of cultural component, places should offer students the chance of seeing conducted research and inventions for gaining in-depth knowledge, taking the social structure into consideration and offering solutions to problems. For effective use of place in terms of usefulness and places that should support students and teachers for reaching

their goals.
Infrastructure-Hardware Dimension

Educational tools, equipment and organizational skills form the infrastructure dimension. All factors related to equipment, which can be called educational technology, fall under this dimension. As regards student-centered learning, the infrastructure dimension has to exhibit the following characteristics in terms of the five main components: With respect to psychological component, the infrastructure has to provide students opportuninites of establishing their own knowledge, recalling and activating their prior knowledge and experience, perceiving the natural context, reahzing activities in line with their personal viewpoint and value judgements. With respect to technological component, the infrastructure has to be given which allows use of developing technology, offers communication without giving any place for limitations, supports concrete learning with visuals and provides a variety of sources. With respect to pedagogical component, the infrastructure has to offer natural learning contexts, has to give students opportunity of putting together information from different times and areas. The infrastructure has to be arranged in such a way that students can realize their individual aims, interests and ideals, and teachers get the opportunity of guiding and interacting. With respect to cultural component, the infrastructure has to allow for students' in-depth learning.

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With respect to usefulness component, the infrastructure has to be established in such a way that it supports reaching targets and fulfilling responsibilities.
Psycho-social Dimension

One of the main elements that form the learning environment is the psycho-social dimension. During learning process, the psycho-social envrionment is a main determiner in reaching objectives. Studentcentered learning is mainly based on internal motivation. Therefore, studentcentered learning environments offer context for students to learn their own by focusing on their wishes, expectafions and interests. According to student-centered learning, the psycho-social dimension has to carry the following characterisfics with respect to the five main components: In order to use the psycho-social dimension effectively in terms of the psychological component, the environment should allow students to learn on their own, support learners for gaining confidence and helping them to learn about themselves. In order to use the psycho-social dimension effectively in terms of the technological component, learning environment should be available so that students can, among themselves and with the teacher, have ongoing interacfion. In order to use the psycho-social dimension effectively in terms of the pedagogical component, the environment should be prepared in which it provides students take responsibility, fulfils natural, individual wishes and

expectafions, and increases their internal motivafion. From the cultural perspecfive, the psycho-social dimension needs to include cultural values. For the usefulness of psycho-social dimension, the environment should raise students' awareness of responsibility and give place to a feedback system. The aim of this study is to reveal teachers' evaluations about giving place student-centered learning environments in their own schools within dimensions of fime, place, infrastructure hardware and psyco-social environment. Within the framework of this general aim, the answers to the following research quesfions were seeked; 1. What are teachers' evaluafions about giving place to student-centered learning environments as a whole in their schools? 2. Do teachers' evaluations about giving place to student-centered learning environments in their schools show any difference according to independent variables (gender, teaching area, work experience, graduated higher educafion programme)? 3. What are teachers' evaluations about giving place to student-centered learning environments when the dimensions of time, place, infrastructure-hardware and psyco-social environment are taken distinctively? 4. Do teachers' evaluations about giving place to student-centered learning environments in their schools show any

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difference according to independent variables (gender, teaching area, work experience, graduated higher education programme) when the dimensions are taken distinctively?
Method

Data Collection Instrument

In this study, data collection instrument providing to collect teachers' evaluations about giving place to student-centered learning environments in their schools with respect to time, place, infrustracture-hardware and psycho-social dimensions was used.
Sample Group

The study was conducted with teachers in ten elementary schools of Eskiehir in Turkey. Information about the sample group is shown in Table 1.

In the study, data collection instrument consists of two sections. The first section is composed of questions that elicits personal information related to the teachers; the second section is composed of the "Scale on Student-centered Learning Environments", which elicits teachers' evaluation of their own classes in terms of the student-centered education dimensions; namely time, place, infrastructure, and psycho-social. "Scale on Student-centered Learning Environments (QSCLE)" was developed by Acat (2006). The scale consists of four dimensions elicited by 50 items: Psycho-social environment 13, Infirastructure-Hardware 14, Place 12, and Time 11 items. The indications in the questionnaire on student-centered learning environments

Table 1. Personal Information about the Sample Group Variables Gender Female Male Teaching Area Elementary school teaching Branch teaching Work experience 1-10 11-20 21+ Graduated programme Education Faculty Faculty of Science and Letters Others (Engineering, Religion, Faculty of Administrative Sciences) Total

N 132 128 108 152 94 89 77 110 50 100 260

% 50,7 49,3 41,6 58,4 36,1 34,2 29,7 42,3 19,2 38,5 100,0

Teachers' Evaluation... / 57 are labelled as "Always (5)", "Frequently (4)", "Sometimes (3)", "Rarely (2)", "Never (1)". In the pilot study conducted with the study group, alpha coefficient was calculated as .9756.
Analysis of the Data

In the analysis of the data, beside to descriptive stadsdcal techniques like arithmethical average and standard deviadon, parametric stadsdcal techniques oft-test for two group comparisons, and One-way Variance Analysis (ANOVA) for more than two group comparisons were used. In all statistical analysis, significance level is taken as .05. Findings This secdon consists of the findings as a result of the analysis of the data and discussions of the findings. Findings related to the research quesdons asked in reladon to the aim of the study. 1. Teachers' evaluations about giving place the student-centered learning environments In order to get a general idea of the pardcipant teachers related to student-centered learning environments, the arithmethical averages and standard deviations of the scores received from the scale have been calculated. The results are shown in Table 2.

When the findings are analyzed, it can be said that the scores of participant teachers received from the Scale on Student-centered Learning Environments show a distribudon like: 1.54 as the lowest score, 5.00 as the highest score, 3.43 as the average score. In this case, it is not wrong to say that the general tendency centers around "frequently" level. Student-centered education, having the basic characteristics of being flexible in time, motivating, highlighting student responsibility and individual differences, includes the training of individuals equipped with the skills of cridcal thinking, adapting to innovations, learning, and life-long learning ability (Hartly, 1987; Yeomans, 1993; Berry, Sharp, 1999; Kelly & Horder 2001; Lea, Stehanson & Tray, 2003; cited in Acat, 2006). As classrooms change and become more student-centered, it is essential to provide teachers with opportunides that enhance their learning of different strategies. One strategy commonly seen in student-centered classrooms is use of learning centers. 2. Teachers' evaluadons about giving place student-centered learning environments in their schools show any difference according to independent variables In this study, gender, teaching area, work experience, and graduated higher

Table 2. Teachers' Thoughts in terms of Their Evaluation of Student-centered Learning Environments N Total 260 Minimum 1,54 Maximum
5,00

Mean
3,43

Std. Deviation ,635

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Table 3. Teachers ' Thoughts in terms of Their Evaluation of Student-centered Learning Based on Gender Gender Female Male N 132 128 Mean 3,4245 3,4528 Std.Deviation ,65900 ,61426 Std. Error Mean ,06401 ,06052 -,321

Environments

Sd

.P

258

,749

education programmes are the indepented variables. Teachers' thoughts about giving place student-centered learning environments in their schools show any difference according to independent variables are shown in Table 3. According to the findings, when average scores are considered based on 0.05 significance level, it can be observed that gender is not a significant factor regarding the participant teachers' evaluadons of student-centered learning environments. Teachers' thoughts in terms of their evaluation of student-centered learning environments based on teaching area are shown in Table 4. According to the findings, when average scores are considered based on 0.05 significance level, it can be observed that

teaching area is a significant factor regarding the participant teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments, and elementary school teaching exhibits a higher score level. Student-centered learning envirorunents comprise many forms, often with few apparent similarides. Isolated student-centered environments in science, mathemadcs, social science, hterature, and other domains have prompted educators to explore the structure, goals, and perspectives of student- centered systems. The efforts, however, often appear dissimilar in funcdons, goals, and features, thus making it dificult to identify general design principles. Despite such variations, common assumptions have been identified and remanifested either explicitly within the

Table 4. Teachers' Thoughts in terms of Their Evaluation of Student-centered Learning Based On Teaching Area Teaching Area N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean ,05852 2,695 152 3,3398 ,67820 ,06140 t

Environments

Sd

Elementary school teaching Branch teaching

108

3,5768

,54582

258

,008

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Table 5. Teachers ' Thoughts in terms of Based on Work Experience Work experience 1-10 11-20 21+ Total

Their Evaluation of Student-centered Learning Mean 3,3897 3,4469 3,4892 3,4385 N 94 89


77

Environments Std.Deviation ,62511 ,54860 ,74285 ,63597

260

Table 6. The Variance Analysis Results Based on the Participant Teachers ' Evaluations ofStudentcentered Learning Environments Sum of Variance Source Sd Mean Squares Squares Between Groups ,343 2 ,171 Within Groups 83,785 257 ,407 ,421 ,657 Total 84,128 259

environment (Hannafin, Hall, Land & Hill, 1994). Presents results from a study of teaching and learning characteristics and the role of teachers in ICT (information and communication technology) learning environments of 25 technology-rich primary and secondary schools in five European countries. Results indicate that learning environments are more pupil-centered when there is greater curriculum differentiation and when teachers act as coaches (Smeets & Mooij, 2001). Report results of a survey developed to assess the use of learner-centered techniques in undergraduate science and mathematics classrooms. It reveals that learner-centered techniques are used infrequently, but when used, they are applied to all aspects of teaching. It is suggested that federal funding has been slightly effective

in promoting its use (Walczyk & Ramsey, 2003). Teachers' distribution in terms of their evaluation of student-centered learning environments based on work experience is shown in Table 5. The Variance Analysis results based on the participant teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments, the value is found as F= ,421 (P>0.05). Thus, it can be said that there is no meaningful difference when work experience is taken into consideration. Teachers' distribution in terms of their evaluation of student-centered learning environments based on graduated programme is shown in Table 7. The Variance Analysis result based on the participant teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments, the value is found to be F= ,547 (P>0.05). Therefore, it can be suggested that there is

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Table 7. Teachers ' Thoughts in terms of Their Evaluation of Student-centered Learning Environments Based on Graduated Programme Graduated programme Std.Deviation N Mean Education Faculty Faculty of Science and Letters Others (Engineering, Religion, Faculty of Administrative Sciences) Total 3,4744 3,3480 3,4437 3,4385 110 50 100 260 ,63970 ,57233 ,66463 ,63597

Table 8. The Variance Analysis result based on the participant teachers ' evaluations of student-centered learning environments Sum of Mean Squares Sd Variance Source Squares Between Groups ,444 2 ,222 ,580 ,547 Within Groups 83,683 257 ,406 Total 84,128 259

Table 9. Teachers ' thoughts in terms of their evaluation of student-centered learning environments based on the dimensions Mean Maximum Minimum N Dimensions 3,5458 5,00 260 1,00 Psycho-social Infrastructure and 3,3537 1,14 5,00 260 Equipment Place 260 1,50 5,00 3,3585 3,5067 1,82 5,00 260 Time 260 Total

Std. Deviation ,73959 ,78997 ,73634 ,70257

no meaningful difference when the graduated programmes are taken into consideration. 3. Teachers' thoughts in terms of their evaluation of Student-centered Learning Environments based on the dimensions In the study, teachers' evaluafions of their own classes regarding the following

dimensions of student-centered educafion were considered: psycho-social/the school's social atmosphere, infrastructure and equipment, place, fime. In order to get a general approximate idea of the participant teachers' evaluations regarding student-centered learning environments, the arithmethical averages and standard deviations of the scores received from the scale have been calculated (See Table 9).

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The findings based on average scores suggest that the scores of the participant teachers regarding their evaluations of the different dimensions of student-centered learning can be labelled as lower for infrastructure /equipment and place dimensions (3,35), slightly higher for time dimension (3,50) and the highest for psycho-social (3,54) dimension. Research indicates that teachers who readily integrate technology into their instruction are more likely to possess constructivist teaching styles. Evidence suggests that teacher's student-centered beliefs about instruction and the nature of the teacher's technology-integrated lessons are paralleled with each other. This connection between the use of technology and constructivist pedagogy implies constructivist-minded teachers maintain dynamic student-centered classrooms where technology is a powerful learning tool. Unfortunately, much of the research to date has rehed on self-reported data from teachers and this type of data often presents a less than accurate picture. Versus selfreported practices, direct observations that gauge the constructivist manner in which teachers integrate technology are more precise, albeit protracted, measured (Judson, 2006). Churchill (2006), in his study explores the private theories of four vocational education teachers in Singapore who have engaged in technology-based learning for their own classes. The understanding of teachers' private theories is important in the context of contemporary educational reforms, which emphasise the shift towards student-centred practices and technology integration. As teachers learn to change strategies and utilize technology, they

might also need to tiansform aspects of their private theories that could impede effective technology integration and lead them to continue with outdated educational practice. This study aims to understand and explicate areas of private theories that impede the effective design of student-centred technology-based learning. The final outcome of the study was setting propositions for readers to examine for the possible application in their own environments. Numerous benefits of student-centered web-based learning environments have been documented in the literature; however the effects on student learning are questionable, particularly for low self-regulated learners primarily because these environments require students to exercise a high degree of self-regulation to succeed. Currentiy few guidelines exist on how college instructors should incorporate self-regulated strategies using web-based pedagogical tools (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2004). Presenting a model for designing student-centered, technology-rich learning environments help educators to operationalize constructivist and studentcentered approaches for teaching and learning. Highlights include facilitating knowledge construction and hfelong learning; technology use; student attitudes; levels of implementation; performance assessment; and traditional instructional systems design models (Hirumi, 2002). 4. Teachers' thoughts in terms of their evaluation of Student-centered Learning Environments based on the dimensions and different varibales of participants

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Table 10. Teachers ' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in terms of the gender Std. Error t Sd N Mean Std Dimensions Gender P Mean Deviation ,73205 ,07110 P.social Female 108 3,5131 -,649 258 ,517 ,07384 ,74935 Male 152 3,5795 ,08006 ,82428 Equip. Female 108 3,3302 -,436 258 ,663 ,07452 152 3,3779 ,75630 Male ,70720 ,06869 Place Female 108 3,3923 673 258 ,502 ,07558 152 3,3236 ,76708 Male ,07465 ,76856 Time Female 108 3,4751 -,659 258 ,511 ,06204 152 3,5393 ,62961 Male Table 11. Teachers ' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in terms of teaching area Std. Error Std.Deviat Gender t Sd N Mean P ion Mean Dimensions P.soc. Elementary ,07495 2,46 3,6932 ,69908 108 258 ,015 ,06812 2 ,75246 152 3,4407 Branch 1,15 ,71628 ,07679 Equip. Elementary 108 3,4286 ,248 258 3,3004 ,83738 ,07581 8 Branch 152 1,80 Place Elementary 108 3,4665 ,67610 ,07249 ,073 258 1 3,2814 ,76992 ,06971 Branch 152 ,06425 4,37 3,7482 ,59930 Time Elementary 108 258 ,000 4 Branch 152 ,72211 ,06538 3,3346

In this study, gender, teaching area, work experience, and graduated higher education programmes are the variables. According to the findings, when average scores are considered based on 0.05 significance level, it can be concluded that gender is not a significant factor regarding the pardcipant teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in terms of the dimensions. According to the findings, when average scores are considered based on 0.05 significance level, it can be concluded that teaching area is a significant factor regarding the participant teachers' evaluations of the dimensions of student-centered learning environments; in the pscho-social

dimension, teaching area causes elementary school teaching to receive higher scores. The two student-centered learning methods, concept checks and just-in-dme teaching were tested. While both of the methods were found to be valuable for active participation of the student in his or her education, just-in-time was perhaps more effective as regards getting the student to prepare ahead of the next lecture and in the process getting better knowledge of the concerned topic (Slunt and Giancarlo, 2004).

Teachers'Evaluation... / 6 3
Table 12. Teachers ' evatuations of student-centered learning environments in terms of the work experience Work Experience Psycho-social Equipment Place Time 1-10 Mean N Std.Deviation
11-20

3,5202 94 ,74631 3,5310 89


122

3,2744 94 ,78055 3,3442 89 ,70449

3,3279 94 ,66560

3,4498 94 ,73913

Mean N Std.Deviation
21+

3,4213

89 ,62999

3,5063 89 ,61295

Mean N Std.Deviation Total Mean N Std.Deviation

3,5952 11 ,78483

3.4637 11 ,89115

3,3224 11

,92139

3,5782 77 ,75788

3,5458 260 ,73959

3,3537 260

3,3585 260 ,73634

3,5067 260 ,70257

The Variance Analysis result based on the scores participant teachers' received in the "Scale on Student-centered Learning

Environments" shows that there is no reladonship between learning dimensions and work experience (See Table 13).

Table 13. Teachers ' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in terms of the work experience Graduated Higher PsychoEquipment Place Time Education Programmes social Education Faculty Mean N Std.Deviation Science and Letters Mean N Std.Deviation Others Mean N Std.Deviation Total Mean N Std.Deviation 3,5458 260 ,73959 3,3537 260 ,78997 3,3585 260 ,73634 3,5067 260 ,70257 3,5365 100 ,73802 3.3473 100 ,82768 3,3646 100 ,83411 3,5432 100 ,69279 3,5173 50 ,66423 3,2143 50 ,71465 3,2396 50 ,66858 3,4364 50 ,62619 3,5670 110 ,77942 3,4222 110 ,78746 3,4064 110 ,67089 3,5056 110 ,74739

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The Variance Analysis result based on the scores participant teachers' received in the "Scale on Student-centered Learning Environments" shows that there is no relationship between learning dimensions ahd the programmes they graduated from.
Conclusions and Discussion

The following conclusions can be drawn from the findings of the study: It can be observed that the scores participant teachers received from the Scale on Student-centered Learning Environments shows an average score of 3.43. This corresponds to the label of "frequently", which reflects the participants' evaluation of the extent to which their classes possess features of student-centered learning. It can be concluded that teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments do not show any significant differences based on different variables; namely gender, work experience, teaching area and graduated higher education programme. Teachers, when asked to evaluate the dimensions of student-centered learning environments, they have given the highest score in psycho-social dimension, followed by time, infrastructure/equipment and place dimensions. Teachers' evaluations of student-centered learning environments in relation to different variables highlight that teaching area is an effective factor putting elementary school teaching at an advantage in terms of scores. The evaluations of the participant teachers regarding different dimensions of student-based learning environments do not show any significant difference.

Student-centered learning environments evolved as a result of changing beliefs and assumptions related to the role of individual in learning. Based on the results of the study, following suggestions can be made. Student ownership for their goals and activities is essential for a student-centered approach. Because students make decisions about their work and take actions to meet their goals that are meaningful to them, which in turn encourages indepth understanding and intrinsic motivational orientation. Teachers, while determining on educational models and approaches in their teaching-learning process, should ensure that they allow students to learn on their own. Within the school and class context, teachers should allocate time for activities that increase student-centered learning, individual and social activities like extra-curricular activits, student club activities. Teachers should be offered opportunities of in-service training so that they can improve their skills, gain knowledge about student-centered learning with respect to their teaching areas and they should maintain the sustainability for following improvements and implementing these improvements.

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