This study provides an analysis of the uptake of Learner-centred Pedagogy (LCP) in initial teacher education in Rwanda. The promotion of LCP is high on the educational reform agenda in many sub-Saharan African countries. LCP engages learners in critical thinking, problem solving and decision taking – seen as crucial transferable skills for sustainable development. An important strategy to prepare future teachers is to model LCP in initial teacher education.
However, as in many other countries around the world, a critical challenge is teacher educators’ limited uptake of LCP in their own pedagogical practice. It seems not easy to change from a transmission model to a reflective practitioner model of teaching and learning. At the start of a professional development trajectory in 2014, 228 teacher educators in all Primary Teacher Training Colleges in Rwanda completed a questionnaire (response of 77 %), assessing factors such as access to resources, professional development opportunities, conceptions of learning, and uptake of LCP.
The research describes that Rwandan teacher educators adhere to constructivist approaches of learning, and at the same time believe that learning is about taking in knowledge through transmission and reproduction as well. Multiple regression analysis reveals that the factor contributing most to the explained variance in the uptake of LCP is cooperation and sharing amongst colleagues (β= .315). The study discusses the limitations of the construct where learning as construction of knowledge is opposed to learning as intake of knowledge; and explores how sharing and cooperation amongst colleagues influences the uptake of LCP.