Hmmm… Novice Teacher Thinking

I was reminded of something I read last year after posting the ‘Jumping or Falling?’ post below (obvious hint as to why in bold). Perhaps this is a good time and place to link to a TESOL article I really like. It’s by Mark K. Warford (Buffalo State College) and Jenelle Reeves (University of Nebraska-Lincoln). It’s called “Falling into It: Novice TESOL Teacher Thinking” and it’s available as a PDF here:

From the abstract:

“Findings suggest that novice TESOL teachers, like their more experienced counterparts, have a system of metaphors to conceptualize teaching. The apprenticeship of observation, a notion in teacher thinking that suggests a powerful influence of previous experience in schooling on teachers, was reflected in NNS’ sensitivity to the norms of teaching in their country of origin; native English speakers, however, exhibited a relative lack of reflection on their experiences in the language classroom. Both NNS and NS participants expressed a presentistic outlook, borne perhaps, of the socio-political complexities of English language teaching. Novice TESOL teacher thinking also appears to exhibit evolving cognitive foundation that weaves folklinguistic adaptations of expert systems into their approach to teaching. Many participants spoke in the language of constructivism or made reference to terms discussed in SLA research literature. In conclusion, the researchers suggest that this preliminary evidence of metaphors, apprenticeship of observation, presentism, and adaptations of expert systems, constructs a preliminary framework for describing novice TESOL teacher thinking.”

The perspectives explored in this article help my frame my observations of CELTA trainees as they (quickly, awkwardly, sometimes fantastically) grow into and experiment with (a semblance of) the “teacher self-role” during the 4-week training course (and then beyond…).

1. A “system of metaphors”

2. The “apprenticeship of observation”

3. A “presentistic outlook”

4. A “folklinguistic” adaptation of expert systems

All four of these things provide lens through which to observe the emerging behavior, attitudes, and developing thinking of CELTA trainees during the 4-week course as they grapple with the practice of language teaching in an environment marked by high levels of intellectual inputs, observation of self and other, and direct/indirect feedback on performance.

[Examination of each in more detail to follow…]

Aside | This entry was posted in Diary Entries Newbieness. Bookmark the permalink.

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