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Teacher educators’ in-action mental models in different teaching situations

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In previous studies on teachers’ cognition, we discovered that teachers’ teaching can be described via a general in-action mental model (IAMM) concerning the structure of the mind and the roles of teaching in fostering children’s learning. The purpose of our study was to examine teacher educators’ IAMM regarding student teachers’ minds and learning in two different teaching contexts: (1) teaching an academic ; and (2) supervising student teachers in a mentor school. The same teachers taught the course in college and gave supervision. Four teachers taught two lessons, one in each of the kinds of teaching situations. We found that when the teacher educators taught an academic course, they had the same IAMM of the mind and learning as teachers who teach children in elementary and high school. This points to the generality of the IAMM. However, we also found that the IAMM has limitations and is contextual. In the supervision situation, we found three different IAMMs: open, reconstructive, and connective models. These findings suggest a need for further research on the IAMMs found when teacher educators supervise. Suggestions are made for ways to help teacher educators become aware of their IAMMs and that of their students.
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Keywords: mental models; supervision; teacher cognition; teacher education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Advanced Studies, Levinsky College of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel 2: Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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