Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/22880
Title: 
Authors: 
Supervisor: 
Jiang, Heng
Issue Date: 
2021
Abstract: 
What most teacher education programmes aim to do is to mediate in beginning teachers’ processes of learning to teach by introducing conceptual tools (such as learning theories) and practical tools (such as teaching strategies) into teacher education activities (Grossman, Smagorinsky, & Valencia, 1999a, p. 2). The goal is to support teachers in appropriating these cultural tools to achieve teaching expertise across contexts and time. Despite this, tool appropriation literature shows the persistence of the two-worlds pitfall (Smith & Avetisian, 2011) which typically describes a conflict between teaching practices advocated by the university community and those valued in schools.

In order to gain greater insights into the persistence of the pitfall, this study used the concept of cultural models from cognitive anthropology (D'Andrade, 1995; Quinn & Holland, 1987; Strauss & Quinn, 1997) to investigate beginning teachers' mental representation of social reality in the form of simplified, tacit and taken-for-granted cultural knowledge of the world. Informed by the broader sociocultural theoretical perspective on teacher learning and using ethnographic case study method, this qualitative study seeks to examine the practices of three beginning teachers of English language who have successfully completed their teacher preparation in which they were exposed to conceptual and practical tools related to the teaching of English language to secondary school students in Singapore.

Discourse analysis of teachers’ reasoning was used to reconstruct the cultural models that teachers held. Results of the study suggest that the teachers’ simplified, tacit and taken-for-granted background expectancies reflect the sociocultural experience that the teachers bring to their teaching. The teachers in the study took these simplified worlds to be normal and typical reality. Accordingly, they appropriated tools adhering to the normative expectations in these simplified worlds that informed them how people and situations are and should be. Their adherence to the cultural models demonstrates an allegiance to the discourse of meritocracy, pragmatism, cultural control and ability streaming in Singapore. The findings show that to understand the two-worlds pitfall through teachers’ appropriation of tools, an account of the role of larger structures localized in the talk and actions of the teachers needs to be taken into consideration.
URI: 
Issued Date: 
2021
Call Number: 
PE1066 Poh
File Permission: 
Restricted
File Availability: 
With file
Appears in Collections:Doctor in Education (Ed.D.)

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