Police learning in the university context: student perceptions of the classroom environment on a police foundation degree course
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
The purpose of this study was to focus on the classroom preferences of students completing a police Foundation Degree course (FdSc) at the University of Central Lancashire. A secondary factor under consideration was an attempt to identify the differences in student preferences based on seven factors (Affiliation, Teacher Support, Task Orientation, Personal Goal Attainment, Organisation and Clarity, Student Influence and Involvement) making use of The Adult Classroom Environment Scale (ACES) to measure the social environment of adult education classrooms. The scope of this study investigated over a three year period three first year cohort intakes undertaking the FdSc through the use of a non-random volunteer sampling technique to determine the study group. A non-experimental descriptive quantitative research methodology, specifically a longitudinal trend survey consisting of 85 first year students. Findings from the study show student affiliation, the extent students like and interact positively with each other, and involvement, the extent to which students are satisfied with the class and participate actively and attentively in activities as the highest factors for consideration within the classroom environment for students. The study revealed the importance of teacher support, how students experience feelings of support, and that care and mutual respect are valued. Classroom management and how students need a well organised learning environment through an understanding of the objectives of the class were also revealed. Conclusions reached suggest that a better understanding of student perceptions can be used to improve teaching approaches and to evaluate different teaching techniques for presenting material. The significance of the study is apparent as increasing numbers of Further and Higher education establishments seek to deliver police pre-employment training. This study contributes to existing literature by considered the role of human interactions in the classroom environment of police training, an area where few studies have been conducted into the dynamics which take place.
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