Effective Teaching and Learning: Teachers' and Students' Perspectives

By Paul Cooper; Donald McIntyre | Go to book overview

4
Teachers' craft knowledge

In this chapter we take a close look at some of the knowledge that underpins what teachers see as successful classroom teaching. We refer to this area of knowledge and understanding as teachers' professional craft knowledge (Desforges and McNamara 1979; Brown and Mclntyre 1993). We are concerned with the nature of this knowledge and how teachers use it on a day-to-day basis.

This part of our study grew direcdy out of an earlier study carried out by Brown and Mclntyre (1993). It is, therefore, appropriate to consider our present findings in the light of this earlier work. In particular, we wish to explore the extent to which the current findings support or challenge the generalizability of the conclusions drawn from the earlier work. This is of particular interest when we consider die differences in die two research contexts, which are marked by the fact that the first study was carried out in Scodand as opposed to England, as well as the fact that the second study was carried out at a time when the National Curriculum was a new or relatively new feature of the working context. A further distinction to be drawn between the two studies concerns the fact that while the first study was concerned with teachers' and pupils' perceptions of effective teaching, in its broadest sense, the current study is primarily concerned with perceptions of teaching diat is deemed to be effective in terms of pupil learning. The second study, therefore, should be seen as part replication and part extension of the original study.

Before we develop these points, however, it is necessary to say something about some of the assumptions that underpin this aspect of our research.


The nature of professional craft knowledge

Professional craft knowledge - as opposed to other forms of knowledge that teachers might possess - is the knowledge that experienced teachers

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