Expanding police educators' understanding of teaching, are they as learner-centred as they think?

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Police educators, that is, police and non-police teachers involved in recruit education and training, have traditionally suffered from a lack of organisational focus on developing their teaching and learning practices. The New South Wales (NSW) Police College, which is currently implementing Problem Based Learning (PBL), has begun to take a more active role in developing staff to improve the uptake of learner-centred teaching approaches. Drawing on the current literature in relation to teaching approaches and conceptions, this paper outlines the findings from a survey of NSW Police College staff to determine their dominant teaching approach prior to extensive staff development that commenced in 2010. The paper highlights contradictions in the survey findings, with responses to closed questions indicating a majority favouring learner-centred approaches, while responses to open-ended questions suggest staff tend to be more teacher-centred. Discussion of these results highlights several possible reasons for this contradiction and suggests that further development of staff teaching conceptions is required to encourage reflective practice and the use of learner-centred approaches crucial to the facilitation of PBL. This discussion provides a basis for suggestions in relation to the design of staff development programs for police educators based on variation learning theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Learning Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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