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Title: Teacher cognition and classroom practice in the context of curricular reform
Author: Parvaresh, Parvaneh
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 7636
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This study investigates how teacher cognition-what language teachers think, know, and believe-contributes to the practices of eight secondary school EFL teachers in Iran within the context of constructivist/communicative-oriented teaching (CCOT) curriculum reform. Specifically, highlighting the influence of both macro- and micro-contexts, this study takes into account the contextual factors influencing teachers’ beliefs and the role they play in pedagogic practice and curriculum delivery. To gain a better understanding of the complex features of teacher beliefs and dynamic interactions among beliefs, practices, and context, this inquiry used a qualitative case study approach. Data were collected using multiple instruments, namely, in-depth semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and stimulated recall interviews, which have allowed for triangulation of the findings. Findings reveal that language teachers’ practices are shaped in unique and often unpredictable ways by their beliefs that have emerged from teachers’ diverse personal and language learning histories, language teacher education experiences, and the specific contexts in which they do or learn to do their work. These contextual factors are interrelated and collectively broaden the mismatch between teachers’ stated beliefs and their actual practice of CCOT and to the limited uptake of reform implementation. The research interestingly reveals that the less experienced teachers introduced a stronger element of CCOT recommended by the curriculum into their lessons, while the more experienced teachers displayed more traditional approach to teaching. This study advances thinking on teachers’ beliefs and practice by highlighting the need to view teachers’ beliefs as a system, to explore the interactive features of teachers’ beliefs, and how such interactions impact their practice. The study also highlights the situated nature of teachers’ beliefs with significant implications for teachers as well as other stakeholders such as teacher educators, policy makers, curriculum developers, and many other important issues in secondary foreign language education in Iran and other similar contexts internationally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available