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Teacher noticing in Taiwan and Germany – What is the role of cultural norms regarding aspects of instructional quality?

After decades of research on teacher professional knowledge, researchers in education still try to find answers to the major question of how teacher knowledge becomes effective in the classroom. In view of theoretical models of teacher competence as well as a growing body of empirical research, situation-specific skills such as teacher noticing appear to be mediating between disposition and performance. Hence, in-depth investigation on the construct of teacher noticing is seen as a promising approach to gain insight into which factors beyond professional knowledge play a role for classroom performance.

Existing research on teacher noticing is usually restricted to a single cultural context and thus potential cultural influences remain implicit. In particular, such research does not allow identifying culturally shared beliefs corresponding to norms regarding instructional quality. It is however assumed that such beliefs affect if and how teachers apply their professional knowledge in instructional situations. Consequently, this project follows a cross-cultural contrasting approach to make visible cultural norms that influence teacher noticing regarding aspects of instructional quality.

A challenge of cross-cultural research on teacher noticing is that cultural norms regarding aspects of instructional quality in the mathematics classroom are not only expected to play a role for teacher noticing, but also for the researchers’ operationalizations of the construct. Hence, it is an open question whether teacher noticing can be measured in a cross-culturally valid way. This question is particularly urgent to be addressed as cumulative evidence regarding teacher noticing is already generated on an international level. Consequently, the design of this project puts an explicit focus on the investigation of expert norms: According to a two-step design, in the first step, expert norms regarding aspects of instructional quality will be determined. These will be used as a frame of reference for investigating teacher noticing in the second step. Noticing regarding aspects of instructional quality will be assessed by means of text-vignettes. A random sample of N=15 professors in mathematics education in each country is considered as corresponding experts. The teacher sample will include N=75 in each country. This two-step design with mixed-methods data analyses allows measuring teacher noticing relatively to expert norms in terms of consistency within a country and cross-cultural comparisons on two levels.

Expected results allow on the one hand conclusions regarding transferable and culture-specific aspects of the teacher noticing construct. On the other hand criteria for valid cross-cultural research on constructs in education which may be sensitive to culture-specific norms will be deduced.

 

Anika Dreher (Freiburg University of Education, Germany)

Feng-Jui Hsieh (National Taiwan Normal University Taipei, Taiwan)

Anke Lindmeier (IPN Kiel, Germany)

Ting-Ying Wang (National Taiwan Normal University Taipei, Taiwan)

 

Publications

Dreher, A., Lindmeier, A., Wang, T.-Y. & Hsieh, F.-J. (in press). Teacher Noticing in Taiwan und Deutschland – Wie stark prägen kulturelle Normen das Verständnis von Unterrichtsqualitätsmerkmalen? [Teacher Noticing in Taiwan and Germany - How much do cultural norms influence how instructional quality is understood?]. Beiträge zum Mathematikunterricht 2018.

 

Funding

The German part of the project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Taiwanese part of the project is funded by the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).