Are you looking to teach? Cultural, temporal and dynamic insights into expert teacher gaze

Nora Ann McIntyre, Tim Mainhard, Robert Mark Klassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We know that teachers' gaze patterns affect student learning, that experts and novices differ in their gaze during teaching and that gaze patterns differ by culture in non-educational settings. However, teacher gaze research is limited to Western cultural contexts and largely to laboratory settings. We explored expert and novice teacher gaze in real-world classrooms in two cultural contexts: Hong Kong and the UK. Forty teachers wore eye-tracking glasses during teacher-centred activities. We analysed ‘communicative gaze’ (gaze during talking) and ‘attentional gaze’ (gaze during questioning). We compared static (i.e., aggregated) and dynamic (i.e., structural) measures across expertise and cultures. Expert teachers looked longer at students and showed greater gaze efficiency than novices did, during attentional and communicative gaze. Expert teacher gaze was also more strategically consistent. In terms of cultural differences, UK teachers displayed greater attentional efficiency whereas Hong Kong teachers displayed greater efficiency in their communicative gaze. Our research underscores the value of going beyond conventional static analyses for culturally sensitive gaze research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalLearning and Instruction
Early online date14 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • Communicative gaze
  • Cross-cultural comparisons
  • Real-world eye-tracking
  • State space grids
  • Teacher expertise

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