Teacher cognition: examining teachers’ mental lives in language education

Chiara Bruzzano


This paper reviews the literature pertaining to the field of teacher cognition, which investigates the mental constructs and the practices of teachers, with a particular focus on teachers of foreign and second languages. Given the wide uptake of teacher cognition as a framework for researching teachers, this review is meant to provide a starting point for researchers to take account of the evolution of the field and its future directions. As is evident from this review, what was initially substantially a cognitively-oriented endeavour, aiming to understand what teachers held in their minds, has now morphed into research that is essentially sociocultural in nature, viewing teachers’ cognitions and practices as complex and embedded in context. This paper thus analyses research investigating the fundamental constructs of beliefs and knowledge and discusses certain limitations of such research, while examining the field’s main emerging and promising themes of teacher identity and emotions.


teacher cognition; teacher beliefs; teacher knowledge; language education; sociocultural theory

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1970-2221/8476

Copyright (c) 2018 Chiara Bruzzano

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