Document Type : Original Article
Department of English, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran
The hidden constructs underlying teachers’ professional identity at a given point of teaching life are presumed to account for their practical qualities. The current study explored the cognitive skills of three groups of Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers with scant, moderate, and considerable teaching experience. To this end, a convenience sample, including 382 Iranian EFL teachers from 660 branches of five countrywide English language institutions, participated in a sequential explanatory mixed-method study. In the quantitative phase, a multivariate approach to comparison was adopted, and the three groups were compared in terms of a linear combination of nine subscales representing teachers’ pedagogical knowledge base. As shown by the results, the between-group differences in four of the nine sub-domains yielded a significant between-group gap in the overall level of teacher cognition. These differentiating knowledge areas included knowledge of learning, teaching, classroom management, and professional self. A qualitative follow-up phase was then launched in which a 95-member sample of the participants attended a retrospective interview to delve deeply into the nature of the four differentiating subdomains. The qualitative results divulged the processes and reasons underlying the four differentiating knowledge areas. The findings may have new insights into the exact nature of Iranian EFL teachers’ intellectual peculiarities at different stages of a teaching career.