HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 21 no. 3 (2012)

Contextual Factors in Teacher Decision Making: Extending the Woods Model

Marianne Rachel G. Perfecto

Discipline: Education Administration



Developments in the field of cognitive psychology shifted the focus of teacher research from publicly-observable behaviors (i.e., those that can be objectively perceived, recorded, and measured) to discovering underlying motivations and deeper structures of teaching or teacher cognition. This article describes the thought process of two secondary school teachers in the Philippines as they make their instructional decisions. It also shows the factors that constrain their decisions and how they cope with these constraints. Through classroom observations and interviews, the teachers’ instructional decisions in teaching were elicited. The findings reveal that the teachers’ decision-making process is recursive and cognitively demanding as teachers need to balance the demands of the prescribed curriculum and the realities of the classroom. To do this, they have to recognize the tentativeness of their plans so that they can “pull out” alternative activities called for by the situation.