chapter  16
The Role of Epistemic Cognition in Teacher Learning and Praxis
Pages 18

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss how teachers engage in epistemic cognition for both learning how to teach and teaching praxis. We begin with a definition of epistemic cognition, drawn from the recent literature (Chinn, Buckland, & Samarapungavan, 2011; Chinn, Rinehart, & Buckland, 2014; Greene, Azevedo, & Torney-Purta, 2008; Maggioni & Parkinson, 2008). Next, we present an integrated framework that highlights the role of epistemic cognition in teacher learning and praxis (Figure 16.1). This framework incorporates our previous work on teachers’ beliefs about teaching knowledge (Fives & Buehl, 2010) and Chinn and colleagues’ (2011, 2014) theoretical explication of epistemic cognition. We differentiate epistemic cognition for teachers based on the identified task (i.e. learning or teaching). Our integrated framework includes the domains of teacher knowledge under consideration, the processes of epistemic cognition, and epistemic outcomes or products. It is salient to note that we conceive of epistemic cognition as a domain-and topic-specific process, such that to think about knowledge one must consider the specific knowledge under consideration. Throughout our discussion of the framework, we provide relevant examples from recent studies of teacher epistemic cognition in the context of learning to teach and teaching practice. We close the chapter with conclusions and implications for studying epistemic cognition in relation to learning to teach and teaching praxis.