A socio-cultural approach to teacher development and education

Willy Cardoso proposes some principles and practices that can place the socio-cultural aspects of learning how to teach at the core of teacher training and education.

About the seminar

In this presentation on how teachers learn to teach, Willy Cardoso will argue that, in general, teacher education, development and training programmes lack the theoretical foundations of what constitutes  teacher learning, mainly in its cognitive and affective elements; and that this has far reaching implications. For example, by focusing primarily on the transmission of classroom management and language analysis skills, we run the risk of shaping the ELT profession as that of technicians.

Henceforth for the benefit of our profession we seriously need to consider language teachers first and foremost as educators. To do so, the presenter will propose some principles and practices that can place the socio- cultural aspects of learning how to teach at the core of this matter. 

By taking a socio-cultural approach to teacher education we are reminded that everyone has ideas about what teaching should be like, with many implicit values and beliefs about it. Such ideas, alongside theories that show how cognitive development is mediated by social activity, give us the understanding that our knowledge of teaching has been co-constructed in cultural and historical ways. 

One of the most powerful developmental tools for teachers is the ability to uncover what underpins their classroom practices and even the meta-language used to describe what they do. Therefore, it is essential that we open more educational spaces for teachers to become learners.

The seminar is divided into four parts and was recorded in April 2013, London.

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