Articles | Volume 16, issue 10
Research article
17 Oct 2012
Research article |  | 17 Oct 2012

On teaching styles of water educators and the impact of didactic training

A. Pathirana, J. H. Koster, E. de Jong, and S. Uhlenbrook

Abstract. Solving today's complex hydrological problems requires originality, creative thinking and trans-disciplinary approaches. Hydrological education that was traditionally teacher centred, where the students look up to the teacher for expertise and information, should change to better prepare hydrologists to develop new knowledge and apply it in new contexts. An important first step towards this goal is to change the concept of education in the educators' minds. The results of an investigation to find out whether didactic training influences the beliefs of hydrology educators about their teaching styles is presented. Faculty of UNESCO-IHE has been offered a didactic certification program named university teaching qualification (UTQ). The hypothesis that UTQ training will significantly alter the teaching style of faculty at UNESCO-IHE from expert/formal authority traits towards facilitator/delegator traits was tested. A first survey was conducted among the entire teaching staff (total 101, response rate 58%). The results indicated that there are significantly higher traits of facilitator and delegator teaching styles among UTQ graduates compared to faculty who were not significantly trained in didactics. The second survey which was conducted among UTQ graduates (total 20, response rate 70%), enquiring after their teaching styles before and after UTQ, corroborated these findings.