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Teacher cognition: a study of secondary English teachers

Enow, L. (2016) Teacher cognition: a study of secondary English teachers. EdD thesis, University of Reading

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Contemporary education research identifies the quality of the teacher as a major determinant in the pace of achievement of the learners. In seeking to understand teacher quality, this study investigates teacher cognition. The premise is: how a teacher thinks during the planning phase of the lesson is paramount in establishing the level of expertise in facilitating learning. However, when presented with a lesson focus, teachers with different levels of expertise demonstrate different thought patterns. The key question is: how do expert teachers think? To attain expert performance, it is vital to capture how experts think. With English being one of the core subjects of the secondary curriculum, and also the language of instruction, it is imperative to focus on Secondary English teachers as the main articipants in this study. The Dreyfus model of expertise has been used to identify and group participants for this study. The focus is to capture the thought processes involved during the lesson planning phase and to study the patterns generated. An in-depth study of the different groups of participants, using multiple data collection methods and data analysis procedures, situates this study within multimethod research. The interpretive framework facilitates an intrinsic understanding of each group; as well as, identification and analysis of patterns across the different groups. Patterns of teacher cognition therefore become ‘overt’. The identification of patterns at different levels of expertise makes the continuum of expertise in secondary English teaching explicit. Progression on this expertise continuum becomes more ‘attainable’ as the characteristics of each level of expertise are identified. With the establishment of cognition, inherent cognitive processes and their interplay have been captured; revealing the mind of the teacher, during lesson planning, as intricate and evidence of the complexity of teaching.

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Goodwyn, A. and Powell, D.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:66017
Date on Title Page:2015


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