The Idea as a Mechanism in Language Teacher Development
Keywords:teaching training, idea, responsive approach, understanding of practice
In recent decades two broad but distinguishable approaches to language teacher development have predominated: an informing approach based largely on the transmission of principles of new theory and method; and a responsive approach centering on teachers’ understanding of their own practice. Our study offers the notion of the Idea, as an element of input that can inspire teachers and be appropriated for their own practice, as a means of synthesising the two traditions. Evidence that teacher learning operates at the level of the Idea is presented on the basis of literature, and also from two case studies which examine teacher learning across different language teacher language learning contexts. Based on the observations of the case studies, the paper offers a fully useable characterisation of the Idea, offering the notion as a crucial concept for language teacher development.
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