Instructional Science

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 469–490 | Cite as

Lecturers' approaches to teaching and their relationship to conceptions of good teaching

  • David Kember
  • Kam-Por Kwan


Previous research has established a close link between students'conceptions of learning, approaches to study and learning outcomes.Until recently, there have been few studies of lecturers' approaches toteaching in higher education and their relationship with conceptions ofteaching. This study aimed to characterise the alternative approaches toteaching of university lecturers, and to examine the relationshipbetween lecturers' approaches to teaching and their conceptions of goodteaching. This study adopted an open naturalistic approach. Seventeenlecturers in three departments in a university were selected forinterview based on their rank, years of teaching and industrial orprofessional experience. Lecturers were interviewed individually abouttheir conceptions of good teaching, motivational strategies andeffective teaching. The interview records were then content analysed bythe two researchers of the study. The study found that (a) it waspossible to characterise lecturers' approaches to teaching with onemotivation and five strategy dimensions; (b) the conceptions of teachingof the lecturers were best described by two main orientations oftransmissive and facilitative teaching; (c) lecturers who conceivedteaching as transmitting knowledge were more likely to usecontent-centred approaches to teaching, while those who conceivedteaching as facilitative tended to use learning-centred approaches. Thestudy concludes by suggesting that fundamental changes to the quality ofteaching and learning are unlikely to happen without changes tolecturers' conception of teaching.

approaches to teaching conceptions of teaching motivation staff development strategy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Kember
    • 1
  • Kam-Por Kwan
    • 2
  1. 1.EDVHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloon, Hong KongChina
  2. 2.EDCHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloon, Hong KongChina

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