Impact of institute and person variables on teachers' conceptions of learning and teaching

Johanna C. G. Jacobs*, Arno M. M. Muijtjens, Scheltus J. Van Luijk, Cees P. M. Van der Vleuten, Gerda Croiset, Fedde Scheele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Teachers' conceptions of learning and teaching are important for faculty development to result in enduring changes in teaching practices. Until now, studies on these conceptions have mostly focused on traditional, lecture-based curricula rather than on small-group student-centred educational formats, which are gaining ground worldwide. Aim: To explore which factors predict teachers' conceptions in student-centred curricula. Methods: In two Dutch medical schools with 10 and 40 years of student-centred education, teachers were asked to fill out the Conceptions of Learning and Teaching (COLT) Questionnaire to assess their 'teacher-centredness', 'appreciation of active learning' and 'orientation to professional practice'. Next, we quantitatively assessed the relations of teachers' conceptions with their personal and occupational characteristics and institute. Results: Overall response was 49.4% (N = 319/646). Institute was the main predictor for variance in all three scales, and discipline, gender and teaching experience significantly explained variance in two of the scales. More than 80% of the variance was not explained by these factors. Conclusion: Longer exposure to a student-centred curriculum was associated with fewer teacher-centred conceptions, greater 'appreciation of active learning' and stronger 'orientation towards professional practice'. In line with studies on lecture-based curricula, discipline, gender and teaching experience also appeared important for teachers' conceptions in student-centred curricula. More research is necessary to better understand the influence of institute on the three teachers' conceptions scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-746
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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