Nele McElvany, Sascha Schroeder, Jürgen Baumert, Wolfgang Schnotz, Holger Horz and Mark Ullrich

Cognitively demanding learning materials with texts and instructional pictures: Teachers' diagnostic skills, pedagogical beliefs and motivation

European Journal of Psychology of Education

Investigated the differential role of learning materials integrating text with pictures in geography and biology classes compared to German language arts instruction as well as the accuracy of teachers' diagnostic judgments concerning materials and student competencies from teachers who majored in different subjects. Furthermore, it was examined whether teachers with different majors systematically differ in their pedagogical beliefs and motivation to use text-picture materials and if these differences predict both the quantity as well as the quality of instruction using both text and pictures. Teacher questionnaires and test data from 2 independent studies that included a total of 215 teachers (mean age 44 years) with biology/geography or German major and their students from all school tracks. Teachers completed questionnaires assessing their use of materials with text-picture integration, diagnostic skills regarding students' picture-text integration competencies (Study 1), as well as their beliefs and motivations regarding picture-text integration and instructional quality and quantity (Study 2). The results showed that teachers did not sufficiently manage to judge these learning materials and that a variation between teachers was not systematically attributable to their subject major. At the same time, differences observed between teachers in pedagogical beliefs and motivation had consequences for both the quantity and quality of instruction using both text and pictures. Implications for further research and educational practice are discussed.