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Title: External dimensions of in-the-moment teacher decision-making
Author: Munk, Kasper
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3578
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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The dynamic nature of teaching often presents schoolteachers with unforeseen challenges that need to be resolved through in-the-moment decision-making. Faced with the pressures of settling challenging teaching situations, teachers must find ways to respond that fit the specific practical requirements of their classrooms. The research literature on teacher decision-making has, however, maintained a one-sided focus on internal psychological processes, omitting its external dimensions. This study develops a theoretical perspective that accounts for external dimensions of teacher decision-making, focusing on how enactment of decisions requires the use of external support in the form of physical objects, writing, visual depictions, spoken language, gestures and sounds. The study focuses on two interrelated research questions; the first concerns the function of teachers' use of external supports during in-the-moment decision-making; and the second relates to the role of physical and cultural circumstances in shaping teachers' use of external supports. The data includes detailed lesson observations and post-lesson interviews with five teachers from an English secondary school, as well as documents and observations of staffroom meetings. The data is analysed by 'zooming in' on instances of in-the-moment teacher decision-making, unpacking the moment-by-moment unfolding of these instances, using analytical procedures which were developed on the basis of the cultural-historical method of double stimulation. Drawing on cultural-historical research traditions, the study shows how the teachers relied on strings of artefacts, by means of which they redesigned problematic student tasks to resolve emerging challenges. The teachers' enactments of decisions were constrained and enabled by the artefacts they were able to produce in-the-moment; and the specific physical and cultural arrangements of their teaching situations were instrumental in making some artefacts more useful than others. The thesis develops theoretical concepts for understanding teachers' use of external supports during in-the-moment decision-making, presenting a conceptual model that helps shed light on what makes the external enactment of in-the-moment teacher decisions practical.
Supervisor: Thompson, Ian ; Daniels, Harry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available