The field of teacher education and teacher cognition has recently seen increasing interest in investigating teachers' beliefs about teaching and learning with the recognition that beliefs influence teachers' planning, decision-making and classroom behaviour. Since beliefs cannot be directly observed or measured, researchers in this field have sought for various effective data collection methods to elicit teachers' beliefs. This paper, which is part of a larger study, aims to offer insights into certain qualitative instruments that may be used in uncovering teachers' beliefs. The findings indicated that metaphor elicitation task and the combination of observations, stimulated recall interviews and post-lesson reflection forms seemed to have been particularly valuable in eliciting beliefs and raising awareness. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.