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Learning to teach : CELTA trainees' beliefs, experiences and reflections

Borg, Michaela (2002) Learning to teach : CELTA trainees' beliefs, experiences and reflections. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study investigates the process of learning on a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) course. Research on many courses in teacher education has indicated that courses have a weak impact on the beliefs of trainees, in that trainees emerged from these courses largely unaffected by the ideas presented on the course and entered teaching with an approach which echoed their experiences as students in school. It is somewhat surprising therefore that within ELT it has long been argued that the Certificate programme has a strong impact on trainees. The aim of the present study is to explore the learning on the CELTA programme, focusing particularly on the pedagogic beliefs of the trainees themselves. Rather than adopt a purely constructivist approach to learning to teach, which involves the study of trainees' beliefs and reflections on the course, I have adopted a more eclectic framework and a multi-perspectival approach. In addition to more individually focused constructivist ideas I incorporated theory from sociocultural approaches such as the use of tools and a learning as participation approach, and also theory from the study of cognitive skill or expertise. The study employed an in-depth case study approach, using multiple research tools: interviews, questionnaires, observation of a course in its entirety, in addition to the collection of documents such as lesson plans and assignments. It was intended that this would provide a thick description of the course which was studied. The findings centre around the cases of six trainees on the course, their beliefs, experiences and reflections. It was found that trainees begin the course with a range of beliefs, some of which are idiosyncratic and others which could be summarised as 'antididactic'. These latter beliefs seem often to be a reaction to their school experiences. As such, the trainees on the whole welcome the more student-focused approach to which they are exposed on the course and their beliefs are largely unchanged. These findings also suggest the importance of social interaction amongst the trainees for learning to teach, and that this should be considered for mainstream teacher education courses. They also indicate that trainees' beliefs need to be recognised and engaged on teacher education courses in general and, in particular, the CELTA programme.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Education (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2010 09:18
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 10:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1009

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