Case Studies of Beginning Teachers: Their Struggles, Knowledge and Beliefs

Year: 2000

Author: HO, B.T, AUN, T.K

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The knowledge domain of teacher cognition is vast. It comprises knowledge of general and personal pedagogy, personal beliefs and practical experience, knowledge of learners and learning, subject matter knowledge, knowledge of context and pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of general educational goals, purposes and values. As such, teaching becomes an extremely complex cognitive and affective activity. Beginning teachers with their limited knowledge and unexplored beliefs often struggle to translate theoretical knowledge into meaningful classroom practices. The study employed a qualitative research stance and was postulated on an emergent research paradigm. Case studies based on in-depth interviews with four beginning teachers provided a rich data source. These beginning teachers had just completed a term (10 weeks) of teaching practicum in secondary schools. This paper briefly outlines the teacher knowledge domain, analyzes the data source to see how knowledge and beliefs impact classroom practices and describes the struggles faced by beginning teachers.