Beliefs Acceptance Model (BAM): A Tokenistic Approach to Reconceptualising Knowledge in Teacher Education Programmes (TEPs)

Peter Oluwaseun Merisi ORCID iD , Ansurie Pillay ORCID iD & Emmanuel Mfanafuthi Mgqwashu ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.9 September 2022  Article 2 pp. 382-392
DOI: |   Published online 8th September 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


This paper argues that issues related to pre-service teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning can no longer be limited to research findings. There is an urgent need for such findings to inform curricular choices in teacher education programmes. The existence of these beliefs can no longer be ignored in the choices that shape the teacher education curricula.  There is a need to acknowledge the important role they play in pre-service teachers’ professional identities, and thus require integration into the formation of future teachers’ being.  Thus, the paper argues that persistence in ignoring pre-service teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning may continue to produce unreflective, unprepared graduates who lack confidence both in themselves and in the institutions that produce them. Hence, this theoretical paper proposes the beliefs acceptance model (BAM) which combines elements of the metacognitive and attribution theories as a framework for understanding why it is essential to foreground the beliefs of pre-service teachers in teacher education programmes. The primary aim of this paper is to examine how both theories, conceptualised as a model, can be used to engage with pre-service teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning in teacher education programmes. This paper will not only contribute to knowledge in the teacher education programmes, but can also be useful for curriculum planners and other stakeholders in higher education institutions in general.

Keywords: Attribution theory, teaching and learning, Metacognitive theory, Pre-Service Teachers, teacher educators, academic developers, beliefs acceptance model

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Dr Peter Oluwaseun Merisi is currently an Academic Developer, Faculty of Humanities Lead, and Disciplinary Literacies Programme Coordinator at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, North-West University (NWU), South Africa. He joined NWU as a Postgraduate Research Advising Specialist (a senior lecturer position) in 2021. Before joining the NWU, Dr Merisi had lectured and supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Durban University of Technology (DUT) between 2012 and 2021, and ever since, he has been a great asset in postgraduate supervision, teaching academic literacy, language education and policy, teacher education studies, pre-service teachers’ beliefs, and research teaching. He bagged his doctoral degree in English Education and was a postdoctoral research fellow for two years in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Dr Merisi has published several articles in reputable and accredited international and local journals. Dr Merisi is happily married to Gladys Merisi and the union is blessed with two kids.

Professor Ansurie Pillay is currently lectures at the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal with a focus on pre-service teachers. She holds a PhD in English Education, served as a teacher of English in high schools and a documentary film maker. She supervises postgraduate students and has examined many postgraduate dissertations. While she researches and publishes in her field, she has also peer reviewed many articles, chapters and books. Prof Pillay has held many leadership roles at the university. In 2017, she won the University Distinguished Teachers Award.

Prof Emmanuel Mfanafuthi Mgqwashu is the current Director for Faculty Teaching & Learning Support Directorate, Centre for Teaching and Learning, North West University.  He was the former Head of the School of Languages, Literacies, Media and Drama Education at UKZN, and served as Head of Department, as well as the Deputy Dean at Rhodes University.  All these roles were in the Faculty of Education.  He received his first National Research Foundation (NRF) Rating in 2019 in recognition of his top national research productivity that has entered the international arena. His scholarly work involves a co-investigator role in an NRF research project called Access and Inclusion in Higher Education with a focus on ways in which disciplinary discourses and pedagogic practices across disciplines in higher education services include and exclude students. This project involved academic staff across 18 universities, including comprehensive universities and universities of technology. In his latest project he was a SA Lead – researcher at one of the 5 research – institutions. This project was called The influence of rurality on student trajectories through higher education: a view from the South. It was an ESRC/Newton-funded project (2017 – 2020) which was a collaboration between the University of Johannesburg, University of Bristol, University of Fort-Hare, University of Brighton and Rhodes University. The project was investigating how students negotiate the transition from school and home in rural contexts to ‘university learning’.  A book from this project was entitled- Rural Transitions to Higher Education in South Africa: Decolonial Perspectives has already been published by Routledge, in addition to 6 academic journal articles in local and international journals.

Merisi P.O., Pillay A. & Mgqwashu E.M. Beliefs Acceptance Model (BAM): A Tokenistic Approach to Reconceptualising Knowledge in Teacher Education Programmes (TEPs),” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.9 (2022):382-392.

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (