Higher Education

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 255–267 | Cite as

Student-focused approaches to teaching in relation to context and teacher characteristics

  • Ann StesEmail author
  • David Gijbels
  • Peter Van Petegem


The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into the relationship between teachers’ approaches to teaching on the one hand, and the characteristics of context and teacher demographics on the other. Data were collected from 50 teaching staff at the University of Antwerp and from three sources: a Dutch translation of the Approaches to Teaching Inventory (ATI), information given by the participants, and information obtained through the personnel department of the university. Only the conceptual change/student-focused scale of the ATI had good reliability and was used for further analysis. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed no relationship between teachers’ approaches to teaching and the context variables of expert level of students, teaching discipline and the number of students in the classroom. Neither was a relationship found between the teachers’ conceptual change/student-focused approach and the teacher characteristics of gender, academic status, teaching experience, age and intention to participate in teacher training. Several interpretations of these data and perspectives for further research are discussed.


Approaches to teaching Context variables Teacher characteristics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Education and Information Sciences, Centre of Excellence in Higher Education (ECHO)University of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for Education and Information SciencesUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpenBelgium

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