Despite many teachers’ knowledgeable use of didactic procedures and a high degree of individual effort in the actual teaching, learning results are poor with a considerable number of students. Some observers ascribe this situation to certain aspects of achievement motivation or to disturbed interactions between teachers and students, but these explanations are not always satisfying. In this chapter we’ll focus on some cognitive aspects of the teaching-learning process: the often-neglected micro-processes underlying the didactic measures the teachers are applying in classrooms.
Over a period of more than two years many critical learning incidents were systematically discussed with teachers of vocational schools and with instructtors from private companies (industrial and commercial) as well as medical institutions (mainly university hospitals). Additionally, many students who were trying hard in dealing with their learning tasks were interviewed. The result is a set of some thirty cases where the teaching-learning process was difficult. Seven of these cases will be presented in this chapter, and several conclusions for teacher education and training will be drawn.