Suwaed, Hameda H. KH. M.
Teachers' cognition and classroom teaching practice: an investigation of teaching English writing at the university level in Libya.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis has grown out of interest in teaching practice at the university level in Libya. It aims to investigate writing teachers’ cognition about teaching writing in English language. These issues are investigated in this thesis and are preceded by explanation of the learning and teaching context in Libya, and a theoretical framework drawing on definitions of cognition, teachers’ knowledge and approaches to teaching writing that might help to understand the connection between the participants’ theoretical knowledge and their teaching practice. Educational, cultural, and personal views of teaching emerge as essential areas of investigation for understanding the teaching practice as well as the vision of teaching that teachers have developed over years of teaching experience.
The findings are generated from a mixture of interviews, classroom observation, and workshops. The findings show that although the participants share many background features of the teaching contexts, they have different views about the actual practice of teaching writing. These views can be categorised into three broad groups. The first group focuses on form and micro skills of writing. The second group balances form with content. The third group focuses more on fluency and writing extended pieces of writing.
In addition, the findings show that the writing teachers in the three selected Libyan universities largely depend on their own self development and informal learning to deal with challenges such as inconsistent syllabus, students’ mixed level and large class sizes.
Furthermore, the findings of the study make a contribution in relation to exploring the ways in which professional development can be introduced by a trial of two workshops. Most importantly, the workshops show that teachers’ willingness to broaden their knowledge of teaching motivates them to seek opportunities for shared professional development.
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