Teacher decision-making in the classroom: the influence of cognitive load and teacher affect

McCarty, Caroline and Redmond, Petrea ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9674-1206 and Peel, Karen ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1626-9525 (2021) Teacher decision-making in the classroom: the influence of cognitive load and teacher affect. Journal of Education for Teaching, 47 (4). ISSN 0260-7476


Abstract

ABSTRACT In everyday classroom situations, teacher decisions are influenced by cognitive load and affect. Cognitive demands related to decisionmaking by teachers, and associated affect, influence future decisions, providing a juncture to change potential outcomes. Eight Australian Secondary teachers were selected for this qualitative study based on the variance in years of experience, gender, age and expertise across content areas. Interviews, classroom observations and reflection sessions revealed participants differed in the language they used when describing their process in making classroom decisions. Assertions from teachers, along with classroom observation data, showed an increased use in proactive teacher actions and reduced cognitive load in decision-making when decisions were made in a state of positive affect. Furthermore, teachers reported reduced negative affect when their initial response to unproductive student behaviour was to refer to their classroom expectations and/or acknowledge correct student behaviours, before addressing unproductive behaviours. Teacher reflections on using positive actions in classroom practices were consistent with reported reduced cognitive load and feelings of success. All teachers reported increased self-reflection while teaching due to increased awareness of available choices when making decisions. Reduced cognitive load, increased positive affect and improved awareness in available choices in classroom decisions leading to positive classroom environments.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 20 March 2021. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2021 06:43
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 04:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect; cognitive load; classroom environment; decision-making; reflection
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02607476.2021.1902748
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41835

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