September 13, 2010 by Willy Cardoso
Teacher-trainers can be seen as ‘the gatekeepers and caretakers of ELT’. They create teachers who will further reproduce such discourses. It is here that the discourse, by shaping those who will become practitioners, itself becomes common sense, the accepted norm. As trainers produce teachers who operate within such discourses – and who see what they do as common sense – so teachers ‘train’ learners in the very same discourses. Learners also come to see what they, and their teachers, do as common sense – which in turn reinforces the power of such training. Indeed, it creates a demand for it. Mallows, David. (2002) Non-linearity and the observed lesson ELT Journal, v56 n1
The tired discourse Mallows mentions is the Newtonian one, the action-reaction thing – in very simplified terms. (see [annoying] demonstration below)
This mechanistic, linear view of teaching and learning – full of dichotomies and either/or’s that still abound worldwide, from Callan Methods to Cambridge CELTA handbooks – seems to have a long life ahead, for common sense is among the most stubborn of human inventions.
But that’s not really the point.
My final question is:
Do you think teacher trainers/educators/developers are in the best position to change whatever there is to be changed and at the same time they are very able to retard progress once they function also as the bridge between research and practice?
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