Thinking about pedagogy : an investigation into the impact of the teaching of thinking on teachers' pedagogy and implications for professional development
The study aimed to determine the extent to which a thinking skills programme influenced the beliefs and practices of secondary teachers in the Dominican context. The study further intended to assess the degree to which the teaching of thinking influenced teachers' professional development, particularly their ability to reflect on practice. Mathematics teachers of three secondary schools were observed and interviewed in an effort to record patterns of change in beliefs and practices. In addition, the teachers were asked to keep journals to aid their reflection on practice. The data collection was divided into three components, namely data gathered at pre-intervention, intervention and postintervention phases. The purpose was to assess potential changes in teachers' perceptions and behaviours during and after the active intervention period. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used for the analysis of research findings. The findings revealed irrespective of school status and the availability of human and financial resources, there was no obvious difference between schools relating to changes in teachers' beliefs and practices. In many cases there was greater variation among teachers within the same school, than there was among teachers of different schools. The study further revealed all teachers appeared to have an external locus of control as reflected from their reasons for lack of sustained changes in practice. Trained teachers blamed the Education System (curriculum framework, assessment system, unavailability of resources, time constraints, etc) for their limitations, whereas untrained teachers blamed lack of training. It was concluded that teachers would only subscribe to long-term change in practice if they believe such change would not add to existing pressures, even if there were potential benefits to students.