Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu
Section 1: Teacher beliefs: changing teachers ' beliefs is prerequisite to changing teaching
Section 1 : Teacher beliefs : changing teachers ' beliefs is prerequisite to changing teaching Teacher beliefs and their impact on teaching practice : a literature review 1. Introduction Lies Sercu, Kathol ieke Universiteit Leuven Ol iver St. lohn, Univers ity of Gävle This is a book on teachers as agents of change. In this chapter, we focus on teachers ' bel iefs and argue that changes in teaching practice depend on the extent to which teachers are willing to change their bel iefs about what constitutes good teaching and manage to achieve such change. To that end, we report on the re sults of research into teacher bel iefs, in foreign language education and in other subjects. We start with a definition of the concept as wei l as its main characteris tics. Whi le bel iefs have been described as the most valuable psychological con struct to teacher education (Pintrich, 1 990) and "the c1earest indication of a teacher ' s professional growth" (Kagan, 1 992: 85), they are also one of the most difficult to define. In section 3 , we focus on the sources of teachers ' bel iefs. We point out that teachers have been social ized in a particular educational system - historically located and culturally conceived - and that thi s socialization process continues to determine in part what they perceive as good teaching. Experience of what works wei l in teaching as weil as factors such as pedagogical principles, institutional practices or the influence of...
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