Peter Cole

Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Cole, P. (1993). Expert and novice teachers compared : a comparison of their roles and functions with implications for teacher education. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


What is the nature of expertise and what characterizes expert performance? What features of cognition and problem solving are typically associated with a highly proficient performance? At one level the answers to these questions are obvious. By definition, expert performers are highly knowledgeable of their subject disciplines and capable of very competent performances in their particular fields of endeavour. The expert in the present context refers to those with knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge. This definition excludes the ivory tower stereotype: that is, the person with theoretical knowledge without practical or applied knowledge. But the definitional parameters of expertise are not my real concern; instead I intend to look beyond the obvious truths to the generic cognitive, psychological and behavioural attributes linked with expert performance. My eventual goal is the explication of the nature of expert teacher behaviour. This endeavour requires a review of recently published theoretical and empirical research papers in this area, including an account of some of my own work on this topic.

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