The Role of Beliefs in the Practice of Teachjing : Final Report of the Teachers Beliefs Study
Nespor, Jan K.
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This report summarizes the conceptual framework, Fodings, and methods of the Teacher Beliefs Study, an intensive, two-year program of research on the structures and functions of teachers' belief systems. Eight teachers in three school districts were videotaped over the course of a semester and were interviewed for a total of approximately 20 hours (using a variety oftechniques, including stimulated recall and "repertory grid" interview techniques).The first chapter of the report develops a conceptual frameworkfor the analysis of beliefs, drawing on recent research on the nature of cognition in complex or "entangled" environments.The second chapter of the report describes the contexts of the three schools in which teachers were observed, and discusses the possible implications of these settings for teachers' practices.The third chapter presents a set of eight case studies describing the nature and operations of a core set of the beliefs of the teachers in the sample. Chapter four then speculates on the implications ofthe findings for future research and teacher education practice. Methodologyi s discussed in three appendices. Appendix A describes teacher selection. Appendix B describes the repertory grid interviews. Appendix C discusses the videotaping of classrooms and the stimulated recall interviews.