A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF STUDENT PERCEPTIONS ABOUT THEIR ENGAGEMENT IN CLASSROOMS
Sheila Nokuthula Matoti
Central University of Technology, Free State, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As lecturers we often go to classes to present lectures without knowing exactly what our students want, what their problems are, and what academic, social and emotional support they need. One way of getting to know students better is to engage them in various aspects of their academic life. There are different ways of looking at student engagement. Student engagement can be linked to students enthusiasm and motivation to learn. On the other hand, the lecturers can devise various strategies to stimulate students enthusiasm in their classrooms. Hence it is important for lecturers to actively engage students in various aspects of their academic life. Engagement can take the form of intellectual, emotional, behavioural, physical, social and cultural engagement. This study is undertaken to examine student teachers perceptions of their various educational experiences. The target population for the study are second and third-year education students at an institution of higher learning in South Africa. A questionnaire which consists of closed and open-ended questions was used to collect data from the respondents. The questions focused on the course material, teaching methods used by lecturers, assessment strategies, reading and study habits of the students, various forms of support given to students, as well as the skills that the students have acquired by attending this institution. The information obtained from the study will yield valuable information that the lecturers can use to understand their students better and devise strategies that will be suitable and relevant to their needs. Since the respondents are student teachers it is hoped that such information will help them when they deal with their future learners in schools.
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