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Mária Hercz: Theachers' concepts of experts and children (reflections on examining interpretations of cognitive development)

The present paper aims at contributing to a deeper understanding of teachers’ thinking on the cognitive development of children, a fundamental domain in education. Cognitive pedagogy provided the theoretical basis for mapping the self-perception of nursery, elementary and secondary school teachers as experts, as well as their child-concept. Approximately 700 educators responded to a questionnaire containing open tasks that asked for associations and definitions. The results revealed that the positive self-concept and self-evaluation of the educators examined depend mainly on intra-institutional factors, among which contact with children plays an essential role. The type of institution where educators work was the only significant aspect that produced marked differences in their thinking with respect to their professional self-concepts, expert-concepts and child-concepts. Rank, qualification, in-service training or the number of years spent practicing the profession influenced educators’ thinking only in minor issues of children’s cognitive development or of facilitating this development.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 105. Number 2. 153-184. (2005)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Hercz Mária, Kodolányi János Főiskola, H-8000 Székesfehérvár, Fürdő u. 1.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia