Auckland Assignment: Beliefs in Teaching Practice
Beliefs are manifested in teaching practices because teachers' instruction tends to reflect their beliefs. Pajares (1992) and Richardson (1996) investigated the relationship between teachers' beliefs and their teaching practices, concluding that teachers' beliefs were reflected in their actions, decisions and classroom practices. Kagan (1992a) also supported Pajares and Richardson's claim that teachers' beliefs served as a vital role in influencing the nature of the instruction.In her study, Johnson (1992) examined the relationship between ESL teachers' defined, theoretical beliefs about second language learning as well as teaching and instructional practices during literacy instruction for non-native speakers of English. Three tasks, such as an ideal instructional protocol, a lesson plan analysis, and a beliefs inventory were used to determine how much ESL teachers' beliefs were reflected in skill-based, rule-based, and function-based orientations. The findings in Johnson's study showed that ESL teachers' defined beliefs were congruent with their theoretical orientations, and teachers with different theoretical orientations gave quite different instruction for ESL students. Therefore, her study concluded that overall, teachers had different teaching approaches, selections of teaching materials, and images of teachers and students according to their beliefs about learning and teaching. For example, a teacher whose dominant theoretical orientation was function-based focused generally on comprehending the main idea, following a pattern of pre-reading as well as post-reading questions, and discussion as usual reading activities in her instruction.