Document Type : Research Paper


1 Full Professor, TEFL, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Candidate, TEFL, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Two of the central concepts in teaching skills are decision making and pedagogical reasoning. Taking benefit from the dearth of studies on teachers’ actual or real-world decisions, this study aimed to respond to this invitation by keeping track of novice Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ decisions in two different times using six research-oriented teaching scenarios reflecting the student and personal features. Furthermore, their pedagogical reasoning was also attended to once through their responses to imaginary teaching scenarios and once through their actual classroom decisions. The participants comprised of ten novice Iranian EFL (six female and four male) teachers with an age range of 19 to 25 and a male experienced teacher, aged 30, who acted as a researcher-as-participant and was only accountable for the novices’ real-world reasoning. The data were collected through utilizing a total of six teaching scenarios, classroom observation, and video stimulated recalls. The findings, obtained through conversation analysis and pertinent vignettes and excerpts, revealed that the participants underwent a change in their decisions in two of the three scenarios reflecting the student features, while an approximate conformity could be observed in all scenarios mirroring personal features. It was revealed that whenever the teachers’ reasoning changed, their decisions underwent some changes as well. In addition, the findings showed that the flow of conversation in the classroom could be strongly influenced by the teachers’ decisions. A number of implications and recommendations for further research are also pinpointed.


Main Subjects

Borg, S. (2006). Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. London: Continuum.
Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15.
Borko, H., Roberts, S., & Shavelson R. (2008). Teachers’ decision-making: from a J Bishop to today.” In P. Clarkson & N. Presmeg (Eds.), Critical issues in mathematics education: Main contributions of Alan Bishop, (37–67). New York: Springer Science & Business Media.
Desimone, L. M. (2009). Improving impact studies of teachers’ professional development: Toward better conceptualizations and measures. Educational researcher, 38(3), 181–199.
Farrell, T. S. (2012). Novice‐service language teacher development: Bridging the gap between preservice and in‐service education and development. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 435‒449.
Johnson, K. E., & Golombek, P. R. (2020). Informing and transforming language teacher education pedagogy. Language Teaching Research, 24(1), 116‒127.
Johnson, K. E., & Golombek, P. R. (Eds.). (2011). Research on second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective on professional development. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kärner, T., Warwas, J., Krannich, M., & Weichsler, N. (2021). How does information consistency influence prospective teachers’ decisions about task difficulty assignments? A within-subject experiment to explain data-based decision-making in heterogeneous classes. Learning and Instruction, 74,
Khatib, M., & Saeedian, A. (in press). Identifying and informing novice Iranian English language teachers’ classroom decision making and pedagogical reasoning regarding managerial mode. Language Related Research.
Lloyd, C. A. (2019). Exploring the real-world decision-making of novice and experienced teachers. Journal of Further and Higher Education43(2), 166–182.
Martin, J., Keast, S., & Anders, L. (2017). Becoming professionally agentic: researching pedagogical reasoning in initial teacher education. In J. Nuttall, A. Kostogriz, M. Jones, & J. Martin, (Eds.), Teacher Education Policy and Practice: Evidence of Impact, Impact of Evidence (pp. 67–81). Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Martinelle, R. (2020). Using video-stimulated recall to understand the reflections of ambitious social studies teachers. The Journal of Social Studies Research, 1‒16.
Nassaji, H. (2020). Good qualitative research. Language Teaching Research, 24(4) 427–431.
Nyamupangedengu, E., & Lelliott, A. (2016). Using modelling as a method of teaching a content course to pre-service teachers. In D. Garbett & A. Ovens (Eds.), Enacting self-study as methodology for professional inquiry (pp. 85–92). Auckland, NZ: S-STEP.
O’Connor, C., & Joffe, H. (2020). Intercoder reliability in qualitative research: Debates and practical guidelines. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19, 1‒13. DOI: 10.1177/1609406919899220
Probst, B. (2016). Both/and: Researcher as participant in qualitative inquiry, Qualitative Research Journal, 16(2), 149–158.
Rädiker, S., & Kuckartz, U. (2020). Focused analysis of qualitative interviews with MAXQDA. Berlin: MAXQDA Press.
Richards, J.C., Li, B., & Tang, A. (2001). Exploring pedagogical reasoning skills. In J.C., Richards, (Ed.), Beyond training (pp. 86–102). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
Saeedian, A. (in press). Classroom discourse: skills and systems mode in the Persian reading and writing literacy development course. Language Related Research, 1‒28.
Salokangas, M., Wermke, W., & Harvey, G. (2020). Teachers’ autonomy deconstructed: Irish and Finnish teachers’ perceptions of decision-making and control. European Educational Research Journal, 19(4), 329–350.
Shavelson, R. J. (1973). The basic teaching skill: Decision making (Research and Development Memorandum No. 104). Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford Center for Research and Development in Teaching, School of Education.
Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.
Siuty, M. B., Leko, M. M., & Knackstedt, K. M. (2018). Unraveling the role of curriculum in teacher decision making. Teacher Education and Special Education, 41(1), 39‒57.
Smith K., & Loughran, J. (2017). Quality learning: Teachers changing their practice. Rotterdam, the Netherlands:  Sense Publishers.
Starkey, L. (2010). Teachers’ pedagogical reasoning and action in the digital age. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 16(2), 233-244.
Südkamp, A., Kaiser, J., & Möller, J. (2014). Teachers’ judgments of students’ academic achievement. In S. Krolak-Schwerdt, S. Glock, & M. Böhmer, (Eds.), Teacher's Professional Development: Assessment, Training, and Learning (pp. 525). Rotterdam: SensePublishers, Springer Science & Business Media.
Tirosh, D., Tsamir, P., & Levenson, E. (2015). Fundamental issues concerning the sustainment and scaling up of professional development programs. ZDM, 47(1), 153–159.
Vanlommel, K., Van Gasse, R., Vanhoof, J., & Van Petegem, P. (2017). Teachers’ decision making: Data based or intuition driven?. International Journal of Educational Research83, 75–83.
Walsh, S. (2011). Exploring classroom discourse: Language in action. Routledge.
Walsh, S., & Mann, S. (2015). Doing reflective practice: a data-led way forward. ELT Journal69(4), 351‒362.
Yoshida, T. (2011). Moodle as a mediational space: Japanese EFL teachers’ emerging conceptions of curriculum. In K. E. Johnson, & P. R. Golombek (Eds.), Research on second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective on professional development (pp. 150–166). New York, NY: Routledge.