The construct of cognition in language teacher education and development [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Nathaniel Bartels
238 Pages
English
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

The construct of cognition in language teacher education and development [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Nathaniel Bartels

Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
238 Pages
English

Description

The Construct of Cognition in Language Teacher Education and Development Inaugural-Dissertation zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades der Philosophie des Fachbereiches 05: Sprache, Literatur, Kultur der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen Vorgelegt von Nathaniel Bartels aus Philadelphia, USA 2006 Dekanin: Frau Prof. Dr. Monika Wingender 1. Berichterstatter: Herr Prof. Dr. Michael Legutke 2. Berichterstatterin: Frau Prof. Dr. Marita Schocker-von Ditfurth Tag der Disputation: 19.01.2007 Table of Contents Acknowledgements vi Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Cognition and Second Language Teacher Education 1 1.2 The scope of research on human cognition 2 1.3 Terminology 3 1.4 Cognition 3 1.4.1 Definition 3 1.4.2 Knowledge vs. “beliefs” 4 1.4.3 Summary 8 1.5 Organization of this volume 8 Chapter 2: Conceptions of Second Language Teacher Education 12 2.1 Introduction 12 2.2 Conceptions of SLTE 12 2.2.1 Linguistics as source of teaching knowledge 12 2.2.2 Focus of SLTE should be ‘the activity of teaching itself’ 23 2.2.3 Reinvestment of cognitive resources 28 2.3 Common hypotheses about teacher knowledge and learning 29 2.4 Conclusion 30 Chapter 3: Knowledge Transfer 31 3.1 Introduction 31 3.2 SLTE and knowledge transfer 32 3.2.

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 01 January 2007
Reads 12
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Exrait







The Construct of Cognition in Language Teacher Education and
Development






Inaugural-Dissertation
zur
Erlangung des Doktorgrades
der Philosophie des Fachbereiches 05: Sprache, Literatur, Kultur
der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen






Vorgelegt von
Nathaniel Bartels


aus Philadelphia, USA



2006
















































Dekanin: Frau Prof. Dr. Monika Wingender
1. Berichterstatter: Herr Prof. Dr. Michael Legutke
2. Berichterstatterin: Frau Prof. Dr. Marita Schocker-von Ditfurth
Tag der Disputation: 19.01.2007

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi


Chapter 1: Introduction 1

1.1 Cognition and Second Language Teacher Education 1

1.2 The scope of research on human cognition 2

1.3 Terminology 3

1.4 Cognition 3

1.4.1 Definition 3

1.4.2 Knowledge vs. “beliefs” 4

1.4.3 Summary 8

1.5 Organization of this volume 8


Chapter 2: Conceptions of Second Language Teacher Education 12

2.1 Introduction 12

2.2 Conceptions of SLTE 12

2.2.1 Linguistics as source of teaching knowledge 12

2.2.2 Focus of SLTE should be ‘the activity of teaching itself’ 23

2.2.3 Reinvestment of cognitive resources 28

2.3 Common hypotheses about teacher knowledge and learning 29

2.4 Conclusion 30


Chapter 3: Knowledge Transfer 31

3.1 Introduction 31

3.2 SLTE and knowledge transfer 32

3.2.1 Little evidence of transfer 32

3.2.2 Knowledge about language 33

3.2.3 General conceptions or principles: L2 teachers 35

3.2.4 Summary 38 i
3.3 General teacher education research and knowledge transfer 38

3.3.1 Knowledge transfer is problematic for teacher education in general 38

3.3.2 General conceptions or principles: teachers in general 41

3.3.3 Summary 42

3.4 Knowledge transfer research 43

3.4.1 Knowledge transfer is difficult for everyone 43

3.4.2 Resistance to new knowledge 44

3.4.3 Near and far transfer 46

3.4.4 Experiential vs. theoretical knowledge or near vs. far transfer? 48

3.4.5 Summary 50

3.5 Conclusion 51


Chapter 4: The Cognitive Bottleneck and Implicit Knowledge 52

4.1 Transfer and the cognitive bottleneck 52

4.2 Implicit knowledge 54

4.2.1 Cognition based on implicit cognition 54

4.2.2 Schemata 57

4.3 Procedural knowledge 61

4.3.1 Procedural knowledge as a central part of teacher knowledge 61

4.3.2 Procedural knowledge helps avoid the cognitive bottleneck 63

4.3.3 Procedural knowledge as a central to teacher learning 64

4.3.4 Acquiring procedural knowledge 65

4.3.5 Summary 66

4.4 Images and gestalts 66

4.5 Acquiring implicit knowledge 68

4.6 Conclusion 72



iiChapter 5: Practice-Specific Implicit Knowledge 73

5.1 Introduction 73

5.2 Teacher knowledge is different from knowledge of academic fields 74

5.2.1 Much of academic knowledge is not useful for teaching 74

5.2.2 Teachers’ conceptions focus on a greater variety of knowledge 76

5.2.3 Different practices require different knowledge 79

5.3 All practitioners rely on practice-specific knowledge 84

5.4 Activity-specific knowledge is a central component of human cognition 85

5.5 Understanding concepts means knowing what the concepts mean in specific 86
instructional contexts

5.6 The importance of local knowledge 89

5.7 Acquisition of practice-specific knowledge 91

5.8 Conclusion 92


Chapter 6: Dynamically Linked Practice-Specific Implicit 94
Knowledge

6.1 Introduction 94

6.2 Practice specific knowledge organization is important 94

6.2.1 Experienced teachers have more organized knowledge 95

6.2.2 Mental models show knowledge organization 96

6.2.3 Organization important part of superior performance generally 97

6.2.4 Teacher education does not result in organized knowledge for teaching 98

6.2.5 Reorganizing knowledge is difficult 100

6.2.6 Summary 100

6.3 Teaching requires dynamically organized knowledge 100

6.3.1 Uncertain nature of teaching necessitates dynamic knowledge 101

6.3.2 Dynamic knowledge as a tool, not a framework 104

6.4 Acquisition of dynamically linked knowledge 107

6.4.1 Link specific knowledge 108

iii6.4.2 Deliberate practice 111

6.4.3 The role of explicit, academic knowledge 115

6.5 Conclusion 119


Chapter 7: Managing Cognitive Load 121

7.1 Cognitive load and learning 121

7.2 Scaffolding learning 122

7.2.1 The construct of “scaffolding” 122

7.2.2 Social contexts as scaffolds 124

7.2.3 Mentoring as scaffolding 127

7.2.4 Summary 128

7.3 Similarity between learning and target activities 129

7.3.1 Similarity 129

7.3.2 Focus on details 133

7.3.3 Contextualizing information 134

7.3.4 Problem Based Learning 137

7.3.5 Summary 141

7.4 Differentiating instruction 141

7.4.1 Different learning needs at different developmental stages 141

7.4.2 Differentiating due to personal knowledge base and learning styles 144

7.4.3 Summary 146

7.5 Conclusion 146


Chapter 8: Investigating Long Term Teacher Learning 148

8.1 Introduction 148

8.2 The studies 149

8.2.1 Introduction 149

8.2.2 The participants 150

8.2.3 Study 1: Memory task 152
iv
8.2.4 Study 2: Sorting task 154

8.2.5 Study 3: Problem-solving task 159

8.2.6 Conclusion 164


Chapter 9: A New Model Of SLTE 166

9.1 Introduction 166

9.2 Evaluating SLTE hypotheses 166

9.3 A working model of L2 teacher cognition 168

9.3.1 Cognition and action 168

9.3.2 Cognition and learning 171

9.3.3 Research questions 176

9.3.4 Using the model to evaluate proposals for SLTE 177

9.3.5 Summary 179

9.3.6 Human cognition and SLTE 179

9.3.7 Conclusion 181

183 Index of Abbreviations


184 Bibliography


Erklärung zur Dissertation 230





v
Acknowledgements

The work in this volume was developed over an extended period of time and would not
have been possible without the help and guidance of many people. I would like to thank
Michael Legutke for helping me (and giving me the opportunity to) put together a myriad
of pieces into a solid, coherent form. I would also like to thank Diane Larsen-Freeman,
Leo van Lier and Bernard Spolsky for reading and commenting on parts of this work.
This dissertation is also indebted to Elsbeth Stern, who helped introduce me and guide
me into research on human cognition. I am grateful to Rainer Roth and Stacey Nyikos for
helping me with the statistical evaluation of the data, Friederike Wyrich for helping me
with the German summary of the dissertation, and Daphne Katranides for proofreading
the manuscript. All mistakes, omissions, and unclear or obtuse wording are,
unfortunately, my own.

This dissertation was made possible by the support of quite a number of people. In
particular, I would like to thank John and Elizabeth Caulk, Günter and Margarete Bartels,
Annette and Karl-Heinz Batzke, Katrin and Peter Ebert, John and Lenore Caulk, and
Kelly Goldfarb for entertaining and taking care of my children while I worked on this. I
would also like to thank Hans, Jakob and Ben Dembowski, Annegret Böhme, Peter
Friese, Ute Dressel, Jörg Wächtler, Catherine and Lorenza Sharpe, and Roland Bier for
putting me up while I was working on the dissertation and giving me space to work and
write. I would also like to acknowledge my gratitude to the Center for Cognitive Studies
of Leipzig University and the John and Elizabeth Caulk Foundation for Wayward Sons
for financial help which has supported this work.

Most of all, I would like to thank my immediate family – Henrike, Franziska and Marika
Bartels – for their patience and support throughout this process. And I promise that I
won’t do this again…

viChapter 1: Introduction

As long as institutionalized second language teacher education has existed, there have
been debates about what L2 teachers need to know and what second language teacher
education (SLTE) can do to help them acquire such knowledge. Central issues in such
debates rest on conceptions of human cognition: what knowledge is, how it is acquired,
and how it is used. However, human cognition is not a focus of the academic disciplines
which usually are in charge of SLTE programs. Therefore, general research and theory on
the nature of human cognition is usually not included in debates on SLTE. The purpose
of this dissertation is to use a wide range of work on human cognition to address and
evaluate fundamental issues in SLTE. This first chapter outlines the structure of this
volume and how each chapter contributes to our understanding of the relationship
between human cognition and issues central to the field and practice of Second Language
Teacher Education.

1.1 Cognition and Second Language Teacher Education

Conceptions of what language teachers should know are almost as old as
institutionalized language teaching itself (Howatt & Widdowson, 2004). However,
within the last 15 years there has been a considerable increase in interest and scholarship
on L2 teacher cognition and second language teacher education (SLTE) (Borg, 2003c;
Freeman, 2002). (By “SLTE” I am referring to both preservice and inservice SLTE
programs). Unfortunately, much of the work in this area (although by no means all) has
not been empirical in nature, relying on folk theories of human cognition: “most
conventional practices in language teacher education have operated like hand-me-down
stories, folk wisdom shared as ‘truths’ of the profession with little other than habit and
convention on which to base them” (Freeman, 1996: 351). However, even the empirical
work in SLTE has tended to ignore deeper issues of human cognition.

Cognition is a central issue in SLTE because models and understandings of SLTE are
based on assumptions and folk theories about what knowledge is, how teachers acquire
knowledge, and how teachers can and should use knowledge. In general, many
approaches to SLTE view knowledge, knowledge acquisition and knowledge as
unproblematic and simple. The basic view is that if you tell someone something, then
they know it, they can use this knowledge, and there is nothing more to be worried about.
Furthermore, to a great extent work in SLTE has ignored the large body of research on
human cognition which has been done in other disciplines. Therefore, it is important to
evaluate the extent to which SLTE conceptions of cognition match what is actually
known about related cognitive issues such as what kinds of knowledge there are, how
they are used and how they are acquired.

The purpose of this volume is to review conceptions and hypotheses about L2 teacher
cognition in the field of SLTE and evaluate these in light of the extensive research on
what is known about human cognition. Although the focus of this volume is on
institutionalized teacher education, the basic questions of what knowledge is useful to
teachers and how they might acquire such knowledge are also central to teacher
development outside institutionalized SLTE programs. In order to evaluate hypotheses
about cognition in SLTE it is necessary to begin by reviewing the historical development
of conceptions of SLTE in order to get a deeper understanding of the assumptions about
cognition that underlie these conceptions. The vast majority of such work published in
international journals and academic books are from the Anglo-American perspective;
however, a substantial body of research on teacher education has been produced in
1Germany. German research which plays a significant role in this volume addresses
experiential knowledge (e.g., Appel, 2000; Caspari, 2003), processes of SLTE (e.g.,
Christ, 1990; Gabel, 1997; Schocker-von Ditfurth, 2001; Zydatiß, 1996), and
professionality research (e.g., Bromme, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1999).

After detailing the assumptions made about cognition in work on SLTE, these
hypotheses will be investigated and evaluated in light of relevant research from a wide
variety of disciplines and research directions. At the end of the volume, the research
presented here will be summarized and a new model of teacher cognition (focusing on
knowledge use and acquisition) will be presented which reflects the latest research
insights.

1.2 The scope of research on human cognition

Hypotheses about SLTE are fundamentally questions about cognition: What is
knowledge? How are particular types of knowledge used? How is knowledge acquired?
These are not questions that focus specifically on language, literature or culture, so to
answer these questions, we must review research which focuses on those questions.
Therefore, the studies reviewed in this volume will be those that focus on the nature of
cognition, especially knowledge and knowledge use. While some relevant research has
been done in SLTE, by the very nature of the issues involved, most of the relevant
research for these questions has been done outside of the field of Language Studies or
Philology.

This means that many of the data collection and data analysis methods, research
contexts, research populations, and research questions will be quite unfamiliar to readers
who are involved in SLTE. This raises the question of whether such studies are relevant
to SLTE. After all, what do Brazilian market vendors, and New Jersey housewives have
to do with language teaching? What do puzzle stories, such as how to get a bunch of
missionaries and cannibals across a river, or memorizing strings of random letters have
to do with learning to teach? The answer is that, on their own, each study does not say
much about SLTE. However, when studies find that Nepalese shopkeepers, Dutch
medical students, and US college students all exhibit the same qualities and problems in
cognition, this indicates there are general properties of human cognition; and the focus of
this book is general properties of human cognition (which are relevant for SLTE). Such
findings can help deepen our understanding of L2 teacher learning and cognition and
further support findings from STLE research. Furthermore, generalities about a group are
not always true for every member of the group. It is possible that even if studies find, for
example, that implicit knowledge is central to medical practice, playing basketball and
midwifery, there may very well be special circumstances inherent in the practice of
language teaching which makes implicit knowledge less important for that activity.

Therefore, it is important to discern between levels of evidence. The best situation, of
course, is if a hypothesis about L2 teacher cognition is supported by data on the
performance of L2 teachers doing naturalistic teaching tasks, as well as data on the
cognition of teachers of other subjects and of people from the general population.
However, a specific hypothesis about L2 teacher cognition which has solid evidence
from studies of other teachers and non-teachers, but similar studies on L2 teachers have
not yet been conducted, is still important for the field of SLTE. Of course, such a
hypothesis would need to be further investigated to test to what extent it describes L2
2