The relationships among experience, cognition, context and practice in pre-service language teachers' professional development

Hugo Sanchez, Lívia de Araújo Donnini Rodrigues, Émerson de Pietri

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper reports on a project which was conducted within the ‘Programa Institucional de Bolsa de Iniciação à Docência’ (PIBID), a national programme in Brazil to promote teacher recruitment and encourage undergraduate students to pursue a career in teaching. The study investigated the pedagogical experiences of pre-service L1 Portuguese teachers working in state schools located in peripheral urban areas in São Paulo. Specifically, it examined the ways these student teachers conceptualised their pedagogical contexts and how this informed the development of appropriate pedagogies, with a view to supporting their professional development, improving the quality of teaching in these contexts, and informing the revision of teacher education programmes in Brazil.

The study was exploratory-interpretive and took the form of a multi-site, multiple-case design. Four case studies of individual pre-service teachers were conducted in three different state schools. The project involved a multimodal approach to data collection, including, where appropriate, an ecological use of methods which were already adopted as part of the PIBID programme. The primary methods of data collection were autobiographical accounts (using a self-reflection tool), photo-driven interviews (based on pictures of the context taken by the participants), teacher diaries, and retrospective interviews (using lesson plans designed by the student teachers). The findings show that, informed by their personal and prior educational history, the student teachers experienced tensions, confusion, difficulties and insights as they attempted both to make sense of their new pedagogical contexts and of the role of teaching and themselves as language teachers, and to develop pedagogies which were appropriate for such contexts. This provides evidence of the process pre-service teachers undergo during their initial teaching engagement and its impact on their professional identity formation. These results contribute to our theoretical understanding of the complex relationships among experience, cognition, context and practice involved in pre-service teachers' professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAcceptance date - Aug 2016
EventAILA 2017 The 18th World Congress of Applied Linguistics: Innovation and epistemological challenges in Applied Linguistics - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 23 Jul 201728 Jul 2017


ConferenceAILA 2017 The 18th World Congress of Applied Linguistics
Abbreviated titleAILA 2017
CityRio de Janeiro
Internet address


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