Title

Exploring learners' views about their preferred learning environment: a study of students in a secondary school in Kenya

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Ruth Otienoh

Third Supervisor/Advisor

James Nkata

Department

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa

Abstract

The context in which teaching, and learning take place is a major influencing factors of student’s learning. Consequently, such contexts need to be organized and maintained in such a way optimum student’s learning outcomes are realized and sustained. This study, conducted in one rural coeducational secondary school in Kenya, utilized student voice to explore their preferred classroom learning environment. The purpose of the study was to investigate student’s views about their preferred classroom learning environment. The study was therefore exploratory. Qualitative techniques (interviews and observations) were used to gain a more in-depth understanding of students’ views about the classroom environment of their preference. The findings of the study showed that students favored a classroom learning environment that is characterized by positive relationships between them and their teachers and among themselves. These relationships are cultivated during the interactions that occur in the learning environment. Classroom learning environments that support learner autonomy, physical comfort, orderliness, and were there are clearly stipulated expectations, physical comfort and learners prefer. Additionally, students showed their consciousness and keenness on how their teachers’ make use of instructional time in the learning environment. Importantly, students indicated a preference for a classroom environment where teachers utilize lesson time for students’ benefit. Students showed the need for teachers to exercise fairness and equity in the classroom as well as making the learning environment interesting by including humor in the classroom. Importantly, this study captured students’ voices about the phenomenon of classroom learning environment and is testimony to the fact that students can also yield valuable information for use in determining important decisions in education. The study recommends that relationships among individuals in a learning environment should be enhanced because they are a crucially important influence affecting students’ connection to school, motivation, academic performance, and psychosocial well-being. Furthermore, learners’ thoughts and ideas should be factored in decisions that go into improving the conditions in a classroom learning environment.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library

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