Dr. Hoechst is an educational leadership and policy studies researcher, adult education concentration, studying the instructional perspectives of cytotechnology educators and the perceptions of cytotechnology students of the teaching and learning environment in the cytotechnology classroom. Towards this end, she uses and develops tools for assessment of the instructor/learner relationship.
Current Research Project
- Assessment of the instructional perspectives of cytotechnology educators.
- Assessment of the learners' perceptions of the teaching and learning environment/climate in the cytotechnology classroom.
- Determination, if any, of correlations between the cytotechnology educators' instructional perspectives and the cytotechnology students' perceptions of the environment/climate in the cytotechnology classroom.
Study Design: Education research, Qualitative and Quantitative research
- To understand the current perspectives of cytotechnology educators.
- To determine the learners' perception of the teaching and learning environment/climate in the cytotechnology classroom.
- To assess the effect on the cytotechnology students' perspectives of classroom environment/climate and how it may correlate with the instructional perspectives of cytotechnology educators.
Adult Education tenets hold that learning be more learner-centered than instructor-centered. In order to establish rapport and mutual trust between the learner and the instructor, various methods may be used to accomplish this goal. Adult Education principles include tenets responsive to the psychological climate of the learning environment. An environment that is conducive to learning would make the learners: feel respected and valued; respect and value each other as resources and reservoirs of a variety of experiences; feel liked and able to relate to each other and the instructor; want to accept responsibility for their own learning and to take initiative; and place a focus on learning and not on teaching. This environment doesn't "just happen". Many factors enter into developing an environment that gains an adult learner's trust. These may include, but are not limited to: the appearance and content of preparatory materials; the nature of preliminary activities related to the learning situation, such as, reading assignments, data collection, responses to survey questions, and listings of problems and concerns; the arrangement of the room in which the activity is to take place; the method of greeting and introductions; the tone of the sessions; the orientation activities; and the demeanor, attitude and behavior of the instructors.
Adults seek opportunities to relate new learning to prior learning. They have rich and varied experiences to relate to this new learning. It is this ability to relate prior learning to new learning that can bring a deeper dimension and meaning to the learning experience. Implications for practice include: learning techniques that utilize the experience of adult learners and the use of participatory experiential techniques that tend to interest the adult learner (group discussion, case studies, simulation exercises, role play, and projects). These learners are self-directed, utilizing the instructor and fellow learners as resources. Mutual respect and collaboration take on importance. There is a movement away from transmittal techniques like lectures to more "hands on" experiences and exercises. There is an emphasis on learning and practical application. The learners develop an ability to recognize the relevance of the learning prior to learning and/or experiences. They "learn to learn" from experience. The instructional perspectives of cytotechnology educators may affect the students' perceptions of the teaching and learning environment in the classroom and influence how they learn.
Sponsor: University of Missouri/ St. Louis, Graduate Education
Project Title: Instructional perspectives of cytotechnology educators and their effect on the perceptions of cytotechnology students of the environment/climate in the cytotechnology classroom.
Role: Doctoral Candidate Dissertation
Hoechst, L., (2011). The use of journaling in cytotechnology education: Lived experience of a cytotechnology educator. Poster presented at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Cytopathology, Baltimore, Maryland.