It is a frequently repeated statement that teachers tend to teach in the way they were taught, or (to be more technical) that their teaching practices are influenced by the apprenticeship of observation (Lotrie, 1975). However, the introduction of educational technology in our classrooms seems to challenge this assumption, since this technology was not available when today’s teachers were students. What then is the relation, if any, between teachers’ early learning experiences, their cognition and their technology use?
This is the question that Mariam Attia sets out to answer in her chapter The Role of Early Learning Experience in Shaping Teacher Cognition and Technology Use, which appears in Breen (2014). Attia presents three case studies showcasing how technology was used by Teachers of Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages in a university in Cairo, and argues that “early mental images of teaching and learning constitute filters through which subsequent professional experiences are internalized”, although the roles of influential adults, important social connections and subsequent learning experiences are also important.
This is a highly recommended article, if you are interested in educational technology and language learning. You can download it from the University of Durham institutional repository. The full reference is:
Attia, M. (2014) The Role of Early Learning Experience in Shaping Teacher Cognition and Technology Use. In Breen, P. (ed.) Cases on Teacher Identity, Diversity, and Cognition in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global
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