A qualitative inquiry into the construction of modern foreign language teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical content knowledge

Cooke, Adam (2014) A qualitative inquiry into the construction of modern foreign language teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical content knowledge. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the construction of modern foreign language teacher cognition: beliefs and pedagogical content knowledge. It examines how teachers’ beliefs about grammar and the role of target language in language teaching have been constructed. The research design is set within a constructivist-interpretivist framework. The conceptual framework identifies four major areas of influence on teacher cognition: pre-training language learning experiences, pre-service training experiences, in-service experiences and micro/macro policy. The qualitative research methodology is autobiographical / life history. The data is presented in the form of narratives, which chronicle the construction and evolution of beliefs and subject knowledge. Data were collected through the methods of audio-recorded semi-structured interviews and field observation over a period of three years. The research involved the participation of seven language-teaching professionals from seven different LA maintained schools.
The autobiography and life histories suggest that early learning experiences may be influential in the construction of teacher cognition about MFL methodology. Furthermore, beliefs constructed in these formative years may also be highly resistant to change. University based teacher education is a positive source of influence in providing teachers with models and techniques which are adopted in practice. The research examines the impact of twenty years of national (macro) policy on modern foreign language teacher cognition and practice. It considers how reflection and dialogue with other practitioners contribute to the construction of pedagogical content knowledge and the interpretation of national policy. Findings report that context is the conditioning factor in the choice of approach taken for the teaching of grammar and the perceived role of the target language. Emerging from the data, is the concept of a methodologising of teaching by school leaders through the implementation of micro policy.
The thesis recommends an exploration of how existing beliefs about language teaching have been constructed among those beginning teacher education programmes and makes suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 11:04
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2015 11:04
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53375
DOI:

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