ＥＦＬ Teachers' Beliefs about Classroom Teaching: Constructivist Evidence of Teacher Develpment
This paper discusses the quality of beliefs which EFL reachers hold regarding classroom teaching. Teachers' beliefs are conceived to be a personalised adaptive system of conceptual and practical knowledge of what they beloeve teaching and learning is about. These conceptions, implicit or explicit, are inferred from past learning- and/or teaching- experiences, observations and reflections, formal knowledge from teacher education, and other relevant resources. Most literature assumes that teachers' beliefs tend to be stable and reluctant to change once they are perceived and taken in as consistent and valid against teachers' semantic benchmarks. With appropriate awareness, insinuations and interventions through preservice or inservice teacher education programmes, however, existing beliefs are subject to reorganization and reconstruction as results of confirmation, addition, rejection, re-labeling, etc. of accompdated or novel knowledge. Strategies, such as reflective journal writing, conferences and/or interviews with colleagues, experienced teachers and mentors, serve to trigger and promote belief evolition. The author proposes EFL classroom teaching is a holistic process of collaborative interaction among teacher, learner, subject-matter and objective, whose representations form a tetrahedral structure with any single factor of the four located at each vertex. A teaching peocess is seen as a vector stemming from the base of teacher, learner and subject-matter towards the vertex of objective. This pyramid stays and floats inside a sphere which on its surface has eleven ecological factors of magnetic force affecting constantly what occurs before, during and after the teaching event. From a constructivist viewpoint, teachers are proved to have developed cognitively when successfully reorganising and reconstructing their beliefs about the nature and reality of classroom teaching, taking into analysis the macro interplay between the internal four factors and the external eleven factors.
Departmental Bulletin Paper