PhD student at Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
PhD Supervisor: Ass. Prof. Aleksandar Baucal, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
The title of speech for school:
Teachers’ Beliefs On Teaching/Learning Process
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My dissertation topic is on ‘Teachers’ beliefs about their role in the teaching/learning process’ with main focus on determining their primary beliefs on the issue and in what way the teaching/learning process, on the level of every day classroom activities and practices is affected by these beliefs and expectations and what are the learning possibilities for the students in the light of those beliefs. Consequently in this way a closer insight into teachers conceptions will be gained, as one of the principal factors in the learning process, but further more interplay between teachers’ implicit ”knowledge” and their everyday activities will be closely examined, Focusing on both what could be considered a collective aspect of teaching, as well as individual and idiosyncratic in work and practice of every teacher will thus contribute to a better understanding of a wider socio – cultural context in which the children are being educated.
Methodological frame of the research itself is defined through several stages. During first stage explicit conceptions of teachers’ roles in the teaching / learning process having in mind both scientific and normative discourse were examined. These elements were basis for creating a questionnaire on teachers’ beliefs and practice which was tested in a pilot study. In the second stage the goal was to ‘’map teachers’ beliefs’’ on teaching and learning process, capturing basic dimensions around which their beliefs and attitudes are organized and how they affect learning possibilities/ outcomes. Third stage involves monitoring classes (videotaping) on a broader scale. Considering different profiles of teachers’ responses, that is their different registered conceptions on teaching and learning a certain number of teachers was chosen, whose classes are monitored. Their selection was made based on a hierarchical cluster and discriminant analysis of their responses from previous phase, selecting groups of teachers with similar conceptions on teaching and learning process. Videotaping of the classes is currently underway. Finally, after monitoring classes of each of the selected teachers a follow up interview will be made with the goal of deepening knowledge on dynamic relationship between conceptions of each teacher and real, in situation, teacher behavior at the class.
As part of my doctoral studies so far I have had an opportunity to attend and finish course on ‘’Comparative research on education and educational performance’’ at Doctoral School in Educational Sciences (LinCS-DSES, Director and Head of Linc-DSES is Professor Roger Säljö) at University of Gothenburg. In March will also have an opportunity to participate in Education Policy and Equal Education Opportunities Workshop held in Durres, Albania as part of ESP Research Fellowship, awarding for an individual research competition using the data collected in the 2008 Cross National Survey of School Principals in SEE countries as part of the Advancing Educational Inclusion and Quality in South East Europe Initiative, Educational Support program of Open Society Institute.
It is a common practice in Serbia for the student to fund his/hers PhD Dissertation on his own.
My interests in and expectations from the Summer School are primary towards broadening views and perspectives in the domain of philosophy and epistemology of cultural – historical research and in exploring new technologies and research tools through discussions with colleagues from different backgrounds and neighboring fields, hopefully leading to finding of more functional and developed exploratory solutions. Since I am predominantly a psychologist by education, working in the field of education on issues of teachers’ beliefs and practices, the implicit knowledge itself, as well as on creativity and development of children’s creative potentials through interdisciplinary and thematic teaching particular questions most interesting in discussing with more experienced colleagues and other PhD students would predominantly be connected with conceptual, methodological / technical questions related for example with interaction analysis in school environments, their experiences on different instructional practices in various learning settings and how one’s work practices could be further explored, transformed and developed.