Keeping an Eye on Learning: Differences Between Expert and Novice Teachers' Representations of Classroom Management Events

Charlotte E. Wolff*, Niek van den Bogert, Halszka Jarodzka, Henny P. A. Boshuizen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Classroom management represents an important skill and knowledge set for achieving student learning gains, but poses a considerable challenge for beginning teachers. Understanding how teachers’ cognition and conceptualizations differ between experts and novices is useful for enhancing beginning teachers’ expertise development. We created a coding scheme using grounded theory to analyze expert and novice teachers’ verbalizations describing classroom events and their relevance for classroom management. Four categories of codes emerged. These referred to perceptions/interpretations, thematic focus, temporality, and cognitive processing expressed. Mixed-method analysis of teachers’ verbalizations yielded a number of significant effects related to participants’ expertise levels. Notably, teachers’ cognitive processing diverged significantly based on expertise level. Differences in focus included themes such as student learning, student discipline, and teacher interaction and influence. Experts focused on learning in the classroom and the teacher’s ability to influence learning, whereas novices were more concerned with maintaining discipline and behavioral norms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-85
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Teacher Education
Issue number1
Early online date16 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • professional development
  • teacher knowledge
  • video analysis

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