The facilitation strategies used by three life science teachers to implement learner-centred teaching and learning.

The study investigated the facilitation strategies that three Life Science teachers use to implement learner-centred teaching and learning within the context of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS). The following research questions guided the study:  How do FET Life Science teachers interpret and understand their role as facilitators in the classroom?  What facilitation strategies do three Life Science teachers use to implement learner-centred approaches to teaching and learning? The descriptors of constructivist teaching behaviours used by Brook and Brooks (1993) were used to frame the study. The case study methodology was adopted for the study. Interviews and classroom observation were used as the sources of data. Research questions, commonsense, personal experience, literature reviewed and the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study were used to formulate initial categories to guide data analysis. The interpretive model of analyzing data was adopted. The three teachers have a similar understanding of facilitation but emphasize different aspects. One of the teachers indicated that learners must be given a chance to practise, and shifts learning from the teacher to the learner’s needs and skills, while the other two teachers describe facilitation as learner-centred or teacher-centred, but do not elaborate to show their understanding of facilitation. The interview shows that the teachers have a good theoretical background of their roles as facilitators in teaching and learning. Teachers viewed their role as facilitator as planning their lessons, engaging learners in the learning process, asking learners appropriate questions, listening and giving feedback, providing directions, and motivating the learners. The challenge is on the implementation of their roles in the classroom situation due to some contextual factors.