Pre-service Teachers as Lifelong Learners: University Facilities for Promoting Their Professional Development

Necla KÖKSAL and Suna ÇÖĞMEN
Pamukkale University, Faculty of Education


Problem Statement: Many countries pay more attention to the modern concept of lifelong learning as an educational issue with the Bologna Process. As higher education has a significant role to play in the lifelong learning of teachers, pre-service teachers need supportive learning environments that foster the culture of lifelong learning at the faculties. Hereby, it could be stated that the quality of educational life at a university affects pre-service teachers’ training and their continuous development as individuals.

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to examine pre-service teachers’ views about university facilities and lifelong learning.

Method: This research was designed as a mixed-method study, and a concurrent triangulation strategy was used to explore pre-service teachers’ views about university facilities and lifelong learning. A 20-item, selfreport instrument was used in order to measure pre-service teachers’ views, and a semi-structured interview form was developed by the researchers for the qualitative data.

Findings and Results: According to the findings, pre-service teachers think that most of the university facilities supporting lifelong learning are insufficient. They claimed that a lifelong learner should learn a foreign language, participate in a project and join the seminars to catch up with a global environment. The university’s provision of social activities for preservice teachers does not support them as independent learners, in spite of their personal willingness to learn independently.

Conclusions and Recommendations: The results of current research clearly indicate that pre-service teachers have still some problems about the conditions of their university. They think that the university facilities do not meet their needs or make them feel part of the university. For future studies, researchers should be encouraged to use longitudinal studies in which first to fourth-year student teachers evaluate the contributions of the university toward lifelong learning. Also, a comprehensive study on lifelong learning in which faculty management and teacher trainers can participate will provide an immense contribution to current literature.

Keywords: Lifelong learning, lifelong learner, pre-service teachers, university facilities, higher education.