This paper presents some outcomes of an exploratory, mixed-method study that examined mental models of teaching and understanding of learning processes in 26 educators from a small suburb in the Northeastern United States. Participants, in semi-structured written interviews, were asked to rate variables contributing to their mental model of effective teaching. They were then presented with a specific educational problem and asked to provide pedagogic solutions. One finding of this exploration was that some educators did not adhere to their own described mental model of best teaching practices when faced with an educational problem. However, those who responded to the problem in concert with stated mental constructions for teaching were more likely to have engaged in daily dialogue about pedagogic practices with their colleagues. The role of self-reflection, through daily dialogue as a mediator of teacher development is discussed, along with implications for policy and practice in elementary and secondary education.
Fox, M. K., Harkins, D. A., & Fischer, K. W. (2013). Maintaining the Mental Model: An Exploratory Study of Dialogic Processes on Good Teaching Practice. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 3 (1), 1-23. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol3/iss1/1