Relevance of Cognitive Orientations in Teacher Education and Professional Development of EFL Teachers at the University of BihaÄ‡
Keywords:cognitive orientations, epistemological beliefs, early childhood teacher, teacher education
EFL teachers may differ regarding the knowledge base they use when making professional decisions. In this study two orientations are distinguished: the orientation towards scientific knowledge vs. the orientation towards intuition and subjective experience. As different tracks in early childhood teacher education qualify for professional practice, and as education of early childhood teachers matters with regard to developmental outcomes of children, knowledge orientations of prospective early childhood teachers attending universities and attending vocational schools are investigated and compared. Knowledge orientations were assessed by means of a questionnaire. After propensity score matching of 402 beginners and 402 graduates, multilevel analyses indicate that scientific orientation at the end of teacher education was higher and subjective orientation was lower than at the beginning. Furthermore, scientific knowledge orientation of BA-students was higher, subjective orientation was lower than of students at professional schools. Implications of these results regarding education of early childhood teachers are discussed.
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