Teacher Cognition and Personal Beliefs: A Harmonious Mismatch?

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Shahid Beheshti University, Iran

2 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran


Some engravings are meant to be adored and some possibly abhorred. Teacher cognition, as a meant-to-be-praised engraving, is defined by Borg (2003, p. 81) as “the unobservable cognitive dimension of teaching what teachers know, believe, and think.” This concept in teaching has recently gained momentum meaning that teachers learn so much about their teaching through the vast experience they have gathered as learners (Nespor, 1987). A teacher’s idea about teaching and the methodologies employed is largely shaped by his/her cognition about the whole story of teaching. In this study, through a structured questionnaire, some open-ended questions, and a thorough interview, the researchers tried to delve into some deep-rooted beliefs and teaching conceptions of six EFL teachers, which had led them to decide on delicate issues in the classroom. This was done with the intention to unravel the mysteries in their practice and to see if there was a way out. A few not-so-much-spotted problems are traced and a general panorama of what is going on in classes based on teachers’ cognition are depicted. Some implications and areas of research on teacher cognition are introduced at the end.


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