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Teacher authority, tacit knowledge, and the training of teachers

Personnel Preparation

ISBN: 978-1-59749-274-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-527-7

Publication date: 3 June 2008


Given the decline in traditional modes of authority, teachers are increasingly reliant upon their professional authority for ensuring orderly and disciplined classrooms. Rather than being vested in teachers generally, by virtue of their specific role, in loco parentis, professional authority is largely acquired through the demonstration of the individual teacher's expertise. Such expertise incorporates subject and pedagogical knowledge, together with skill in relation to classroom interpersonal dynamics. A key difficulty in relation to interpersonal management is that much of the knowledge involved is tacit and thus not easily made explicit. The chapter examines this issue and identifies some key teacher interpersonal behaviors that can be identified and practised by the novice.


Elliott, J.G. and Stemler, S.E. (2008), "Teacher authority, tacit knowledge, and the training of teachers", Scruggs, T.E. and Mastropieri, M.A. (Ed.) Personnel Preparation (Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-88.



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