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Research talk by Dr Li Li (University of Exeter) Researching Teacher Cognition - A Discursive Approach

A Language and Education Network research event

Language teacher cognition has become a significant research area in the last decade to promote learners’ active participation in learning, to address the important role of teachers in developing effective pedagogy and to enhance teacher learning. Majority of this research is framed in a cognitive framework, adopting research methodology to gain understanding of teachers’ mental lives.

Event details

In this talk, I challenge the cognitive perspective and approach towards teacher cognition and bring interaction to the centre of the domain of teacher cognition.  Teachers are active thinkers and in their planning and teaching, they interact with the context in which they teach through the decisions made in the moment by moment progression of a lesson.  Consequently, teacher cognition should not be treated as static traits that remain constant, but as a result of interactions with others in different settings. This talk demonstrates the relationship between interaction and what teachers think, know, believe and do in professional contexts, and illustrates how cognition manifests itself in social interaction. Using a methodology informed by CA principles and theoretical underpinnings, the analysis offered in this paper provides in-depth understanding of what teachers ‘think in action’.  Results suggest a discursive approach towards teacher cognition offers a finer-grained understanding of the phenomenon than the cognitive and contextual approaches.

Biographical note: Li Li is a Senior Lecturer in Language Education and Director of MEd in TESOL at the Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter.   Educated in China and UK as an applied linguist, Li has been involved in English language teaching and research for nearly 20 years and has worked in various cultural contexts.  Research areas include cognition and language, thinking skills, interaction and technology.



Baring Court 112