Deciding What To Do Next: Theorising A Taxonomy Of Reasoning Processes In Teaching

Year: 2015

Author: Kroewaldt, Jeama

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The importance of making professional judgements in teaching is well recognised as an essential component of accomplished teaching. There are many interlocked processes of reasoning that dynamically and intelligently draw on theory, practice, context and student and lead to professional judgements. It is through this complex and intertwined processes of reasoning that teachers design and enact their teaching.
This paper takes a conceptual approach informed by theoretical and empirical literature to outline and contrast reasoning approaches that are reported in initial and ongoing teacher education literature. It identifies disparate language and approaches including problem solving, inquiry, clinical teaching each of which is informed by differing underlying beliefs. Several distinctive features of reasoning emerged which positively influence understandings of the multidimensional nature of reasoning. This paper posits a preliminary taxonomy of reasoning processes for teaching resulting from a conceptual analysis of research that reported on reasoning processes of teachers.
As deciding what to do next is a fundamental component of accomplished practice, the findings from this research has both implications and considerations for teacher education.