Teacher Educators’ In-Action Mental Models in Different Teaching Situations

February 2012

Source: Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, Vol. 18, No. 1, February 2012, 25–41
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study aimed to investigate teacher educators’ in-action mental model (IAMM) regarding student teachers’ minds and learning.
The authors investigated the same teacher educators in two teaching contexts: (1) teaching an academic course about pedagogy in college; and (2) in the post-lesson feedback sessions that took place while they were supervising student teachers in elementary schools.

The participants were eight teacher educators: four teacher educators from a Department of Elementary School Education and four from an Early Childhood Department in a college of education. All of the participants were experienced teachers with between 10 and 25 years of teaching experience.

The authors videotaped the participants' pedagogy lessons in college. They videotaped these same teachers while they were giving feedback sessions. The authors analyzed four teachers’ videotapes from those sessions.

The authors found that when the teacher educators taught an academic course, they had the same IAMM of the mind and learning as teachers who teach children in elementary and high school. The authors argue that this finding indicates the generality of the IAMM.
The authors also found that the general IAMM has limitations. The findings in this study point to the contextual nature of IAMM.
These findings are different from the general IAMM found to date.

The authors suggest that they can describe the same person's teaching via several IAMM of learning and that these IAMMs inform and guide one's actual teaching. The different kinds of interactions enable the student teachers to build their professional understanding through various kinds of implicit intervention by the teacher educator. The new IAMMs are grounded in the special context that is unique to supervisory roles.
The authors argue that the IAMM reflects the teachers' implicit understanding of their students' minds and learning. By uncovering the teachers' hidden IAMMs, the authors might be able to help teacher educators and supervisors be reflective practitioners of what once was tacit. 

Updated: May. 17, 2018