Title Teachers Understanding Teaching:
A Multimedia Hypertext Tool
Author Karen Johnson and Glenn Johnson
Platform Macintosh or PC
Hardware Macintosh: 68030 Macintosh with 4 MB RAM
requirements available (8 MB recommended); System 7.0 or
later; 13" color monitor (640 x 480) with Color
8 bit, 256 colors; Macintosh CD-ROM
180 KB/second transfer rate, or faster.
Windows: 386/33 megahertz or better;
4 MB RAM available (8 MB
recommended); 13" color monitor (640 x 480)
with Color 8 bit, 256 colors;
double-speed or faster CD-ROM. Windows
NT does not support the progress
Publisher Heinle and Heinle
20 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116
Support 70-page manual; online help
Year of Publication 1998
Target audience Language teachers in pre-service or in-service
professional development programs
Readers involved in language teacher education are likely to be interested in Teachers Understanding Teaching, which explores teachers' ideas about teaching and includes footage and discussion of video clips of three actual ESL classrooms in the US. The classes cover a range of levels: a 4th-5th grade content-based ESL science course, a 7th-8th grade language and literature class, and a pre-university IEP class.
Like other materials in the TeacherSource Series, Teachers Understanding Teaching contains three main strands: Voices, Frameworks, and Investigations. Voices provides an insider's view of teaching, with excerpts from interviews with the teachers on their knowledge and beliefs about L2 teaching and learning. Frameworks presents an outsider's perspective, with information about theoretical issues gleaned from research on teaching and teachers. Investigations bridges theory and practice, showing excerpts from actual classroom instruction, organized around instructional considerations, and accompanied by the teachers' commentary on the excerpts. A Tasks section provides 35 activities to further users' understanding of concepts presented in the three strands. The goal of the program, to be used within a professional development language teaching program, is to help present and future teachers make sense of what they do in classrooms and why.
Teachers Understanding Teaching opens with a choice of the three strands: Voices, Frameworks, and Investigations, each of which also has a number of subsections to explore. The Voices strand includes five sections called "Understandings": Second Language Learning, Students, TESOL, Memories of Teachers, and Beliefs (see Figure 1). Users access excerpts from the interviews by first selecting a topic to explore, and then choosing one of the three teachers. Further information is available in Key Concepts, which can also be accessed from a pull-down menu available in all strands.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Frameworks contains four "Research Issues": Learning to Teach, Teachers' Knowledge, Teacher Decision Making, and Teachers' Beliefs. In this strand, users click on a topic, and are shown a filing cabinet with tabbed files indicating references (e.g., Johnson, 1998); these references discuss ideas which theoreticians and researchers feel are important in teaching. Teachers' Beliefs, for example, has 12 tabbed files, each file containing a short quote from one citation relevant to the topic of teachers' beliefs. …