What is Teachers’ Cognition?
The theory on teachers’ cognition suggests that there are certain factors such as education, personal experiences of the teacher in learning language, and experiences of the teacher in the classroom that formulate the mental dimensions of cognition. These dimensions include attitudes, beliefs and knowledge that affect the decisions that the teacher takes about the choices of materials and practices in the classroom. The term teacher cognition as the unobservable dimension of teaching that relates to how the teachers believe, know, and think. The cognition of the teachers is also resistant to change particularly if the teachers do not get the opportunity to develop the cognitive tools. In such case, the decisions as well as practices of the teachers are bound to be based on intuition, routine or impulsiveness and in turn affect the professional growth of the teachers. Hence, it can be said that the education of the teacher is critical as it facilitates the development of necessary cognitive tools at the training level. Quality Paper Writing includes knowledge of concepts that allow understanding and addressing the cognition.
Limited attention was paid to teacher cognition before the 1970s as teaching was related to the behaviorist paradigm only. This is why, most studies focused on the effectiveness of teaching by correlating the behavior of teacher of teachers with academic achievements of the students. Research on thinking of the teachers when carried out in the field of general education reveals that there have been three distinct phases. In the first phase, i.e. 1970s, studies focused mainly on the decision making effects on the teaching practices. Also, the centre of attention remained on the behaviors of the teachers (pre-teaching and while teaching) based on their thought processes.
Pre-active Decisions and Interactive Decisions
These are referred as pre-active decisions and interactive decisions respectively. In the second phase, it was noted soon that in order to examine the thinking of teachers, decision making is not sufficient research criterion as the degree of deliberation and choice are not the part of thought processes but of the decision making. Research on teacher’s cognition can be expanded by inclusion of factors such as attributions, routines, perceptions, evaluations, reflections and judgment. Lastly, it was in the third phase that focus of research shifted to knowledge and beliefs of the teachers. It is still difficult to define the teachers’ belief because of a number of issues such as differing views about the structures of belief, poor conceptualization and definitional problems. The literature also reveals varying definitions of teachers’ belief. Beliefs of the teachers are based on experiences rather than on theory. That is the major reason that there is no clear definition of teachers’ belief. Belief is a conceptual tool that is set in the light of judgment of the individual about the truth or falsity of a proposition. However, judgment of every individual is derived from the collective understanding of the intentions and actions of the human being.