Some engravings are meant to be adored and some possibly abhorred. Teachercognition, as a meant-to-be-praised engraving, is defined by Borg (2003, p. 81) as “the unobservable cognitive dimension of teaching what teachers know, believe, and think.” This concept in teaching has recently gained momentum meaning that teachers learn so much about their teaching through the vast experience they have gathered as learners (Nespor, 1987). A teacher’s idea about teaching and the methodologies employed is largely shaped by his/her cognition about the whole story of teaching. In this study, through a structured questionnaire, some open-ended questions, and a thorough interview, the researchers tried to delve into some deep-rooted beliefs and teaching conceptions of six EFL teachers, which had led them to decide on delicate issues in the classroom. This was done with the intention to unravel the mysteries in their practice and to see if there was a way out. A few not-so-much-spotted problems are traced and a general panorama of what is going on in classes based on teachers’ cognition are depicted. Some implications and areas of research on teachercognition are introduced at the end.
Abstract. This instrumental-comparative case study examines the beliefs and classroom practices of three English teachers in Iran. The participants were observed for two consecutive classroom sessions and interviewed two times afterwards; the first time two days after the final observation and the second time, in the form of stimulated recalls when the data from their observations were analyzed. The observations pro- vided insights about their classroom practice, and the semi-structured interviews elicited their language teaching beliefs. The findings sug- gested that (A) learners’ condition directs teachers’ choice of methodol- ogy; (B) the washback effect of high-stakes discrete-point examinations along with the traditional ongoing societal beliefs, notwithstanding the sense of a good-will for helping learners to be successful in future, can misinform teachers’ communicative practices; (C) pre-service teacher education in the form of graduate programs in TESOL seems to be not much effective in helping teachers to readily implement communicative classroom practices. These answers corroborated the statistical findings of the Path Model of TeacherCognition (Nishino, 2012) within another context, and empirically justified the rational for a move towards con- textualized knowledge-base of teacher education.
The elements that constitute culture include beliefs, worldview, values, mores, customs, and behavioral norms. They pertain also to appearance, ceremony rituals, presence, artifacts, and esthetics as well as organizations and institutions (Tylor, 1871). Several dichotomies have been used to classify the constituent elements of culture. Big ‘C’, for instance, refers to formal culture, including formal institutions (social, political, and economic), great figures of history, and those products of literature, fine arts, media, literature, cinema, music, and sciences that have been traditionally assigned to the category of elite culture. Little or small ‘c’ is associated with the sociological sense of culture and refers to the way of life of a particular group of people, including organization and nature of family, home life, interpersonal relations, material conditions, work and leisure, customs, housing, clothing, food, tools, transportation… (National Standards in Foreign Language Education Project, 1996).
knowledge about pronunciation content and instructions. Thus, the amount of emphasis that pronunciation instructions should be conducted is trivialized. It seems that the findings of this study reveal that the teacher participants have trivialized pronunciation in their ESL classes. When asked if they could recall any pronunciation lessons during their schooling years, they had difficulties in remembering. This explains that pronunciation was even neglected when they themselves were still in school. As a consequence, these teacher participants tended to build a negative belief towards the need for pronunciation instructions. Hence, Shanina Sharatol Ahmad Shah (2014) found that these ESL teachers’ beliefs about pronunciation were negatively developed from their early formal exposure to the language. This was later then brought along into their own classrooms when they themselves became teachers. Most of the participants in this study did not demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate ways to integrate pronunciation. Some participants who attempted to integrate pronunciation were unable to decide the level of explicitness and implicitness of the stages in an integrated lesson which made the focus of the integrated lesson unclear. Her doctoral work seems to be useful in some ways in leading the way into teachercognition research in Malaysia. Nonetheless, research work on language teachercognition in Malaysia is still rather rare making it quite difficult to look for research studies in Malaysian contexts that explore language teachercognition and practice.
Some demographic variables like gender, GPA, study year, department, schooling background, and teaching experience were also checked in data analysis. First of all, analyses conducted on early teacher identity and gender revealed that the difference between males and females in terms of early teacher identity is not significant [T(447) = -1,087, p> .05], so gender is not a distinctive factor for pre-service teacher identity. However, Friesen and Besley (2013) found a marginal significance with female participants who had higher levels of teacher identity. In another teacher identity study, with a different emphasis on gender issue in terms of teacher identity, Lamote and Engels (2010) reported that male participants associated teacher identity with discipline in the classroom while females linked it to student involvement. Thirdly, the positive correlation between subjects‟ early teacher identity scores and their study years at education faculty (r= .45, p<.01) indicated that as participants get teacher education training in the advancing years of their education, their early teacher identity scores increase. This situation can be explained with pre-service teachers‟ increasing exposure to field studies, which may make them be aware of their professional identity more consciously. At this point, it can be suggested that ETIM can be applied in different levels of teacher education in order to closely follow pre-service teacher identity development in a longitudinal study.
Despite the facts that, many teachers focus on the teaching method and strategies for writing practices, there is very little research on teachers’ beliefs are enacted in teaching practices especially in Indonesian context. In this forthcoming study, perhaps teachers can reflect if their current beliefs and teaching practices in teaching EFL writing are worth maintaining, should be adjusted in the light of the current status of the teaching of EFL writing. Hence, teachers’ beliefs have a powerful impact in practice of teaching since a teacher’s belief constitute the reasons which account for the difference of Indonesian teachers in teaching writing without ignoring the influence of their content knowledge. To meet the writing demands, students definitely need good writing instruction, for which qualified and experienced writing teachers are necessary. Thus, the urge for more research on writing teachers by examining in-depth a sample of experienced EFL teachers’ belief and practices in real writing activities. A study on a teacher writer beliefs and practices as an authentic formula in gaining the needs for students to be the writer as well. Since teaching writing is not about the theory, but teaching writing is to act, to write as the writer does. Teacher professional development of a teacher writer has shown how her beliefs and practices shaping her productivity in becoming a teacher writer.
teacher described a large number of activities and conditions required for fulfilling each role identity. On the other hand, the amount of the teachers’ elaboration, and their attention to the related activities and conditions pertaining to the other role identities was not that much. The results showed that the teachers ascribe a high value to language teacher’ task of maximizing learning opportunities (Kumaravadivelu, 2003). A number of strategies and conditions were identified which were pinpointed in the literature as essential for facilitating student learning. The analysis of teachers’ cognition suggests that the teachers are ready to view teaching “as creating conditions for the construction of knowledge and understanding through social participation” rather than seeing it as “transfer of knowledge” (Burns & Richards, 2009, p. 6). Similarly, they recognized the role of teachers in selecting, using and even adopting teaching/learning materials. They tried to show the quality of effective materials and the content which positively affect students’ learning. Surprisingly, they did not recognize teachers’ role and/or ability of materials development (Tomlinson, 2013) despite the fact that they believed teachers should avoid being textbook-oriented. For instance, Diba, the female participating teacher, focuses on the ability and responsibility of teachers in being responsive to learners’ needs through preparing and adapting needs responsive materials.
In this correlational design study, to determine the relationship between sources of teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and students’ outcomes, the following procedures were conducted: The sample of this study was selected randomly. Therefore, the researchers collected data from instructors and students in the following procedure: the beliefs’ questionnaire was sent to more than 800 ELT Iranian instructors in different universities through email, from which, only 150 were returned. Instructors were informed about the study from the beginning, and that they could withdraw their contributions at any time without penalty. All of them were insured that the identity of them to the survey would be held in strict confidence. To make sure about the genuineness of the instructors, the researchers added clear instructions at the beginning of the questionnaire. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were also conducted with twelve volunteer instructors in 30 minutes. The interviews were designed to encourage reflection, to elicit sources of teachers’ pedagogical beliefs about English language teaching, and to verify the results of the questionnaires. To avoid the instructors’ bias, the researchers themselves selected one of the students of each instructor randomly from the sent list. For the students in universities near the location of the researchers, the researchers themselves administered the general proficiency test. The researchers’ friends and the instructors themselves administered the rest of the tests. The completed tests were returned to the researchers through email. Students’ scores were entered into a data file and analyzed statistically using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), version 18. Statistical analyses carried out on the data included Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and multiple regressions. Some collected data were qualitative (interviews). They included all open-ended responses to the interviews. The procedure for analyzing qualitative data was as follows: Each data set was read several times to gain some sense of the main ideas being expressed. Then the data were coded and analyzed manually and subjectively.
Teacherbeliefs about disability labels have influenced how teachers enact schooling as inclusive or exclusive, as well as how students take cues to include and exclude one another (Allan, 1999). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004), the federal law that governs the implementation of special education in the United States, mandates that general education classrooms should always be considered first when discussing placement of students labeled with a disability. While this bias towards inclusion in general education classes is considered progressive, when teacher perceptions of students labeled with disabilities are negative, placement of students in general education may not have a positive impact (Daane, Beirne-Smith, & Latham, 2000). Hehir (2003) asserted that when general education teachers view students labeled with a disability as other, teachers may be complicit with, less attentive to, or unaware of how classroom activities and curriculum marginalize and exclude certain students from learning opportunities. In order to achieve meaningful inclusion of all types of learners in U. S. classroom, it has been generally agreed that school personnel who are most responsible for student success, particularly general education teachers, need to be receptive to the principles and demands of inclusion and the inherent flexibility and adaptability that a commitment to inclusion entails (Avramidis, Bayliss, & Burden, 2000).
Krashen (1982, in Lightbown and Spada, 1999) created the Monitor Model which comprises five hypotheses. Statements (2) and (8) pertain to Acquisition-Learning Theory. Natural Order Hypothesis prompted statement (4). A disagreement with statement (6) supports the Input Hypothesis. It should be mentioned that researcher error created a slight discrepancy in statement (6) between the teacher and student version of the pilot surveys. The teacher survey stated, “In the classroom it is not beneficial to expose learners to language that is beyond their ability to understand,” while the student Korean version stated, “In the classroom, exposing learners to language beyond their ability to understand is not useful.” Affective Filter Hypothesis was defined and posed as statements (10) and (12).
This paper reports primarily on our qualitative thematic analysis of the transcriptions of the seven teacher researcher interviews (Braun & Clarke, 2006; Ritchie & Lewis, 2003). The research mentor led the qualitative analysis but worked closely with the school- based director and co-researcher throughout the process. Initial coding of three teacher interview transcripts and a constant comparative approach was used to develop through debate and re- coding an agreed but still evolving index. A collaborative analysis workshop involving teacher researchers coding raw interview transcripts informed the development and checking of the index before it was used to code the remaining transcripts. Continued analysis involved searching for themes that ‘ capture ’ important elements within the data and further work focused on re ﬁ ning and con ﬁ rming the themes and considering the relationships between themes (Nowell, Norris, White, & Moules, 2017). An additional collaborative analysis focus group involved the teacher researchers in pre-reading then debating and helping to shape the emerging analysis. Illustrative quotations are provided in the ﬁ ndings section to make our interpretation as transparent as possible. An additional transcript, included in the analysis, was generated by a teacher researcher focus group questioning the in ﬂ uence of the text books. In considering the analysis and discussion of ﬁ ndings it is important to note the nature of this small-scale qualitative study including: the cultural and professional location of the study in Primary schools in the North West of England; the small sample of teachers; the fact that these were volunteer teachers with an in- terest in the mastery maths project; the focus on understanding teacher perspectives; the speci ﬁ city of the curriculum development project in the subject of maths; and the speci ﬁ city of the commercially produced scheme with its textbooks and teacher guidance. However, the in-depth nature of the study means that we may seek to ‘ generalize to theoretical propositions ’ related to the teacher researchers' classroom practices and their underlying be- liefs (Yin, 2014, p. 21).
Bottia, & Southworth, 2012; Orfield & Frankenberg, 2014), this work does little to inform our understanding of how this particular student population is perceived at their destination school once choice is exercised. Additional research has examined the racial, gendered, and socio-emotional experiences of Students of Color attending predominantly White schools outside of their district of residence (e.g., Butler- Barnes, Lea, Leath, & Colin, 2016). Missing from the school choice literature, however, are studies examining teachers’ beliefs and attitudes towards Students of Color when they are able to transfer to school districts that are externally perceived to be more viable but racially White and homogenous (Cherng, 2017). This is particularly
Chitravelu et al (2005) posit that ―In the rural areas in Malaysia, English is a foreign language because the rural child has very little environmental support in his learning. This is because very few people and institutions in the rural areas use English.‖ This provides us with an idea of how rural children in Malaysia grow up in language-poor environments with little or no access to the English language outside of school. Primary education being the building block for further language acquisition, pedagogical practices of teachers of young learners should be highlighted to further enlighten us on the enormity of the language teacher‘s impact, influence and significance. In achieving this, the belief system of the teachers shapes the pedagogical practices that the teachers bring into the classroom. A teacher‘s belief system is the driving force that guides, shapes and manoeuvres her or his pedagogical practices. Teaching young learners in a rural setting presents teachers with various challenges in catering to these young learners‘ learning needs and styles. Hence, these challenges may foreshadow an ‗interesting‘ set of beliefs on what works and what does not, in a rural young learner classroom.
32 Macaro (1997, 2001, 2005) is one the researchers who is opposed to L2-only classes on the basis that the use of the L1 is a natural practice in L2 learning and teaching as well as being a more time efficient strategy than using only the target language, which is a point also made by Atkinson (1987). In a study which aimed to investigate the usage of L2 and L1 by experienced, beginning and student teacher of foreign languages in England and Wales, Macaro (1997) made use of surveys, semi- structured interviews and classroom observation. The results revealed the L1 was used predominantly to give or clarify instructions, for translating and checking comprehension and lastly to give feedback, all of which are essential actions in the classroom. In the same study, Macaro also explored teachers’ beliefs and attitudes on L1 and L2 use. He reported that most of the teachers believed that it was impossible to create a ‘L1-free’ classroom except with highly motivated classes. A majority of teachers also pointed out the usefulness and importance of the L2 for giving basic instructions and they used L1 for classroom management, covering grammatical rules and developing social relationship with the students. The use of interviews and stimulated recall in my own study will allow an exploration of teacher views as expressed in general terms and also as prompted by a consideration of aspects of their own pedagogic practice.
33 the four domains: (a) how the club is organized, such as small group with one T-Coach in a classroom vs. large group with all T-Coaches in a cafeteria or multipurpose room; (b) the amount/extent of the activities that are covered for each club meeting; (c) how well the students are engaged and participating in STEM activities included in the tool and; (d) the preparation and T-Coach interaction throughout the club have three dimensions. The evaluation process started with the observer attending a STEM program and recording detailed field notes, including teacher and student quotes and accounts of what took place. After the observation, the researchers analyzed the field notes and placed corresponding 'evidence' from these field notes into each of the associated twelve dimension categories. Then, using the rubrics developed and provided by PEAR, the evaluator assessed the evidence and assigned the school a rating of one to four, based on the rubric for each dimension (1 - Evidence Absent; 2 - Inconsistent Evidence; 3 - Reasonable Evidence; 4 - Compelling Evidence).
Teachers‟ pedagogical beliefs are thought to play a prominent role in determining teacher behavior. In contrast to other professions, pedagogical beliefs of teachers and students in teacher education are widely influenced by personal experiences gained in school, which has been referred to as “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie, 1975, p. 61).It can be assumed that student teachers already enter teacher education with a relatively firm set of beliefs about teaching. In our study, N = 280 student teachers in biology were asked to recall their own biology classes in school, employing a frame of reference provided by national standards for biology education in Germany. First, a factor analysis was conducted on students‟ responses. This analysis yielded four aspects (factors) according to which students‟ recall of their own biology classes in school is structured. Next, students were clustered into four biography types by means of their parameter values on the four factors. Students‟ beliefs about how biology should be taught are influenced by their biography. Our findings thus provide evidence for the influence of school biography on pedagogical beliefs in the field of biology education; however, this influence does not point in a uniform direction. When comparing university freshmen to more advanced student teachers, only one out of the four belief aspects was affected by students‟ progress in their university studies. A practical implication is that teacher educators are well-advised to incorporate their students‟ past experiences into the contents of their courses.
However, the wider sense of the philosophical approach to intentionality is also important for encompassing all mental processes or states that are about something: an inclusivity that not only suits the aims of this special issue to redraw the boundaries of language teachercognition research by expanding them but also ensures that the domain is open to current directions in cognitive science and psychology that challenge the traditional distinctions among cognition, emotion, motivation, and identity (discussed earlier), especially in research on teachers (cf. D. I. Cross & Hong, 2009; Gregoire Gill & Hardin, 2015; Kaplan, 2014; Zembylas, 2014).
methodology suited learners and teachers best. Any application of methodology without an understanding of culture and contexts would end up in failure in language learning and teaching. For example, in Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, where knowledge transmission, mental activities, the teacher‘s authentic role, and an evaluation system focused on written language were highly valued and deeply rooted in the Confucius tradition, the adoption of CLT might conflict with their traditional ways of learning, and accordingly would not lead to satisfactory results in English learning and teaching (Hu, 2002; Li, 1998). It is important to understand that the tradition of written exams in Asian culture might be the biggest barrier for implementing CLT in these countries (Hu, 2002). EFL assessment is conducted in written forms, aiming at testing learners‘ grammar knowledge rather than oral skills (Ganjabi, 2011). Thus CLT has not had such an early impact on curriculum and exams. For instance, until recently the national university entrance examination (i.e. ―Gaokao‖ in Chinese) in China did not include English speaking in many places (Gaikwad, 2014). One important implication of this cultural background for teaching is that teachers of Chinese who have been educated themselves in China may well have experienced foreign language learning and teaching in a written exam-orientated way and would have no reason to question this approach. The effect of assessment which does not include speaking and listening, for instance, might be to the neglect of spoken communication, since it would not be a school or teacher priority to test learners‘ communicative competence. In this way, teachers‘ experience of learning and teaching in such a setting is, of course, shaped by the assessment demands, just as it is in England, which is discussed above.
As an English language teacher who has been teaching in UTHM for slightly more than two years, I realised that many students are still struggling to achieve the minimum band three in MUET despite having gone through the English language courses offered by UTHM. I also observed that many students still found it difficult to express themselves in English although they have been learning English at primary and secondary school level for 11 years. It is shocking, but true. This is especially evident during tasks that require them to produce the language, such as report writing or oral presentations. Nevertheless, this does not apply to everyone as there are a small number of students who can speak and write in English well. However, the scenario described earlier clearly demonstrates the serious lack of English proficiency among the majority of UTHM undergraduates. The question that remains to be answered is: Why? As a teacher and a researcher, I felt compelled to find out about the current teaching instructions in UTHM’s English language classrooms so that more can be done to improve the current situation of undergraduates who are weak in the English despite many years of learning the language.