Inaugural Professorial Lecture: I Know What I Believe (I Think): Teacher Cognition Research 20 Years On
Simon Borg is Professor of TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language), School of Education, University of Leeds. His primary area of research and professional activity is language teacher cognition - the study of what teachers think, know and believe and how these constructs interact with teacher learning and classroom practice. He has applied a teacher cognition perspective to the study of a range of issues in language education, such as the teaching of grammar, teachers' engagement in research, and the impact of teacher education and has published widely in relation to these themes. Professor Borg also has a particular interest in educational research methods and more specifically in teacher research.
This talk combines personal reflections on my academic career with a more weighty consideration of my engagement during this time in the study of language teacher cognition. This field has witnessed a remarkable growth during the last 20 years and I would like to take a critical look at what this body of research has (and has not) achieved and in what ways my own work may have contributed both positively and less so to the direction this area of language education research has taken. There will also be an anticipatory dimension to my analysis, as I consider whether teacher cognition is in danger of becoming just another trendy stance for language education researchers to adopt or whether there are still valuable substantive, theoretical and methodological challenges which can sustain this field's growth for another 20 years.