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Theorising practice (handout)


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Handout for a talk titled 'From Applying Science to Theorising Practice', which was delivered at the 'Empowering Language Teaching and Learning' professional development day organised by the Panhellenic Association of State School Teachers of English. (Athens: October 2011).

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Theorising practice (handout)

  1. 1. Empowering Language Teaching and Learning From Applying Theory to Theorising Practice:building small-t theories in Greek ELTAchilleas Kostoulas, achilleas@kostoulas.com1. The Applied Science model of professional development9 The main component of teacher education is a thorough grounding in linguistics pedagogical theory.9 Limited limiting view of professional development: - Spatial and temporal divide between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ - Tension between researchers and teachers - Disempowered teachers2. Theorising practice9 Differences between ‘Theory’ and ‘theory’: Theory theory General Personal Abstract Situated Top-down Bottom-up9 Conceptual framework: a. Transmissive Pedagogy Encompasses grammar-translation, audiolingualism etc. Common ground: accuracy ethos, grammar, testing Communicative b. Communicative Pedagogy Encompasses CLT, Task Based Learning etc. Common ground: communicative competence, learning group ideal, direct teaching methods c. Critical Pedagogy Transmissive missive Critic Critical Encompasses critical and eclectic approaches Common ground: awareness of (political) context, principled eclecticism3. Building a small-theory: an example9 Primary ELT coursebooks9 Starting point: teacher-generated problematisation text (overleaf)9 ‘Points of tension’: - Content (What?) - Media (How?) - Ends (Why?)This presentation can be viewed at