Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2201

Search results for: teachers’ beliefs

2201 Teachers' Beliefs About the Environment: The Case of Azerbaijan

Authors: Aysel Mehdiyeva

Abstract:

As a driving force of society, the role of teachers is important in inspiring, motivating, and encouraging the younger generation to protect the environment. In light of these, the study aims to explore teachers’ beliefs to understand teachers’ engagement with teaching about the environment. Though teachers’ beliefs about the environment have been explored by a number of researchers, the influence of these beliefs in their professional lives and in shaping their classroom instructions has not been widely investigated in Azerbaijan. To this end, this study aims to reveal the beliefs of secondary school geography teachers about the environment and find out the ways teachers’ beliefs of the environment are enacted in their classroom practice in Azerbaijan. Different frameworks have been suggested for measuring environmental beliefs stemming from well-known anthropocentric and biocentric worldviews. The study addresses New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) by Dunlap to formulate the interview questions as discussion with teachers around these questions aligns with the research aims serving to well-capture the beliefs of teachers about the environment. Despite the extensive applicability of the NEP scale, it has not been used to explore in-service teachers’ beliefs about the environment. Besides, it has been used as a tool for quantitative measurement; however, the study addresses the scale within the framework of the qualitative study. The research population for semi-structured interviews and observations was recruited via purposeful sampling. Teachers’ being a unit of analysis is related to the gap in the literature as to how teachers’ beliefs are related to their classroom instructions within the environmental context, as well as teachers’ beliefs about the environment in Azerbaijan have not been well researched. 6 geography teachers from 4 different schools were involved in the research process. The schools are located in one of the most polluted parts of the capital city Baku where the first oil well in the world was drilled in 1848 and is called “Black City” due to the black smoke and smell that covered that part of the city. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers to reveal their stated beliefs. Later, teachers were observed during geography classes to understand the overlap between teachers’ ideas presented during the interview and their teaching practice. Research findings aim to indicate teachers’ ecological beliefs and practice, as well as elaborate on possible causes of compatibility/incompatibility between teachers’ stated and observed beliefs.

Keywords: environmental education, anthropocentric beliefs, biocentric beliefs, new ecological paradigm

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2200 Iranian Students’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Effective Foreign Language Teaching

Authors: Mehrnoush Tajnia, Simin Sadeghi-Saeb

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Students and teachers have different perceptions of effectiveness of instruction. Comparing students’ and teachers’ beliefs and finding the mismatches between them can increase L2 students’ satisfaction. Few studies have taken into account the beliefs of both students and teachers on different aspects of pedagogy and the effect of learners’ level of education and contexts on effective foreign language teacher practices. Therefore, the present study was conducted to compare students’ and teachers’ perceptions on effective foreign language teaching. A sample of 303 learners and 54 instructors from different private language institutes and universities participated in the study. A questionnaire was developed to elicit participants’ beliefs on effective foreign language teaching and learning. The analysis of the results revealed that: a) there is significant difference between the students’ beliefs about effective teacher practices and teachers’ belief, b) Class level influences students’ perception of effective foreign language teacher, d) There is a significant difference of opinion between those learners who study foreign languages at university and those who study foreign language in private institutes with respect to effective teacher practices. The present paper concludes that finding the gap between students’ and teachers’ beliefs would help both of the groups to enhance their learning and teaching.

Keywords: effective teacher, effective teaching, students’ beliefs, teachers’ beliefs

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2199 A Consensus Approach to the Formulation of a School ICT Policy: A Q-Methodology Case Study

Authors: Thiru Vandeyar

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This study sets out to explore how teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about ICT policy influence a consensus approach to the formulation of a school ICT policy. This case study proposes Q- methodology as an innovative method to facilitate a school’s capacity to develop policy reflecting teacher beliefs and attitudes. Q-methodology is used as a constructivist approach to the formulation of an ICT policy. Data capture was a mix of Q-methodology and qualitative principles. Data was analyzed by means of document, content and cluster analysis methods. Findings were threefold: First, teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about ICT policy influenced a consensus approach by including teachers as policy decision-makers. Second, given the opportunity, teachers have the inherent ability to deconstruct and critically engage with policy statements according to their own professional beliefs and attitudes. And third, an inclusive approach to policy formulation may inform the practice of school leaders and policymakers alike on how schools may develop their own policy.

Keywords: ICT, policy, teacher beliefs, consensus

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2198 Teaching Vietnamese as the Official Language for Indigenous Preschool Children in Lai Chau, Vietnam: Exploring Teachers' Beliefs about Second Language Acquisition

Authors: Thao Thi Vu, Libby Lee-Hammond, Andrew McConney

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In Vietnam, the Vietnamese language is normally used as the language of instruction. The dominance of this language places children who have a different first language such as Indigenous children at a disadvantage when commencing school. This study explores preschool teachers’ beliefs about second language acquisition in Lai Chau provinces where is typical of highland provinces of Vietnam and the proportion of Indigenous minority groups in high. Data were collected from surveys with both closed-end questions and opened-end questions. The participants in this study were more than 200 public preschool teachers who come from eight different districts in Lai Chau. An analysis of quantitative data survey is presented to indicate several practical implications, such as the connection between teachers’ knowledge background that gained from their pre-service and in-service teacher education programs regarding second language teaching for Indigenous children and their practice. It also explains some factors that influence teachers’ beliefs and perspective about Indigenous children and pedagogies in their classes.

Keywords: indigenous children, learning Vietnamese, preschool, teachers’ beliefs

Procedia PDF Downloads 318
2197 Unpacking Chilean Preservice Teachers’ Beliefs on Practicum Experiences through Digital Stories

Authors: Claudio Díaz, Mabel Ortiz

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An EFL teacher education programme in Chile takes five years to train a future teacher of English. Preservice teachers are prepared to learn an advanced level of English and teach the language from 5th to 12th grade in the Chilean educational system. In the context of their first EFL Methodology course in year four, preservice teachers have to create a five-minute digital story that starts from a critical incident they have experienced as teachers-to-be during their observations or interventions in the schools. A critical incident can be defined as a happening, a specific incident or event either observed by them or involving them. The happening sparks their thinking and may make them subsequently think differently about the particular event. When they create their digital stories, preservice teachers put technology, teaching practice and theory together to narrate a story that is complemented by still images, moving images, text, sound effects and music. The story should be told as a personal narrative, which explains the critical incident. This presentation will focus on the creation process of 50 Chilean preservice teachers’ digital stories highlighting the critical incidents they started their stories. It will also unpack preservice teachers’ beliefs and reflections when approaching their teaching practices in schools. These beliefs will be coded and categorized through content analysis to evidence preservice teachers’ most rooted conceptions about English teaching and learning in Chilean schools. The findings seem to indicate that preservice teachers’ beliefs are strongly mediated by contextual and affective factors.

Keywords: beliefs, digital stories, preservice teachers, practicum

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2196 The Impact of Teachers’ Beliefs and Perceptions about Formative Assessment in the University ESL Class Assistant Lecturer: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim University of Halabja

Authors: Barzan Hadi Hama Karim

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The topic of formative assessment and its implementation in Iraqi Kurdistan have not attracted the attention of researchers and educators. Teachers’ beliefs about formative assessment as well as their assessment roles have remained unexplored. This paper reports on the research results of our survey which is conducted in 20014 to examine issues relating to formative assessment in the university ESL classroom settings. The paper portrays the findings of a qualitative study on the formative assessment role and beliefs of a group of teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the departments of English Languages in Iraqi Kurdistan universities. Participants of the study are 25 Kurdish EFL teachers from different departments of English languages. Close-ended and open-ended questionnaire is used to collect teacher’s beliefs and perceptions about the importance of formative assessment to improve the process of teaching and learning English language. The result of the study shows that teachers do not play a significant role in the assessment process because of top-down managerial approaches and educational system. The results prove that the teachers’ assessment beliefs and their key role in assessment should not be neglected. Our research papers pursued the following questions: What is the nature of formative assessment in a second language classroom setting? Do the teacher’s assessment practices reflect what she thinks about formative assessment? What are the teachers’ perceptions regarding the benefits of formative assessment for teaching and learning English language at the university level?

Keywords: formative assessment, teachers’ beliefs and perceptions, assessment, education reform, ESL

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2195 Evaluation Practices in Colombia: Between Beliefs and National Exams

Authors: Danilsa Lorduy, Liliana Valle

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Assessment and evaluation are inextricable parts of the teaching learning process. Evaluation practices concerns are gaining popularity among curriculum developers an educational researchers, particularly in Colombian regions where English language is taught as a foreign language EFL. This study addressed one of those issues, which are the unbalanced in –services’ evaluation practices perceived in school classes. They present predominance on the written test among the procedures they use to evaluate; therefore, the purpose of this case study was to explore in-service teachers’ evaluation practices, their beliefs about evaluation and to establish an eventual connection between practices and beliefs. To this end, classroom observations, questionnaires, and a semi structured interview were applied to three in-service English teachers from different schools in a city in Colombia. The findings suggested that teachers’ beliefs indicate a formative inclination and they actually are using a variety of procedures different from test but they seem to have some issues regarding their appropriateness for application Moreover, it was found that teachers’ practices are being influenced by external factors such as school requirements and national policies. It could be concluded that the predominance in using tests is not only elicited by teachers’ beliefs but also by national test results 'Pruebas Saber' and law 115 demanding. It was also suggested that further quantitative research is needed to demonstrate connections between overuse of testing procedures and 'Pruebas Saber' national test.

Keywords: beliefs, evaluation, external factors, national test

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2194 Studying Educational Processes through a Multifocal Viewpoint: Educational and Social Studies

Authors: Noa Shriki, Atara Shriki

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Lifelong learning is considered as essential for teacher's professional development, which in turn has implications for the improvement of the entire education system. In recent years, many programs designed to support teachers' professional development are criticized for not achieving their goal. A variety of reasons have been proposed for the purpose of explaining the causes of the ineffectiveness of such programs. In this study, we put to test the possibility that teachers do not change as a result of their participation in professional programs due to a gap between the contents and approaches included in them and teacher's beliefs about teaching and learning. Eighteen elementary school mathematics teachers participated in the study. These teachers were involved in collaborating with their students in inquiring mathematical ideas, while implementing action research. Employing educational theories, the results indicated that this experience had a positive effect on teacher's professional development. In particular, there was an evident change in their beliefs regarding their role as mathematics teachers. However, while employing a different perspective for analyzing the data, the lens of Kurt Lewin's theory of re-education, we realized that this change of beliefs must be questioned. Therefore, it is suggested that analysis of educational processes should be carried out not only through common educational theories, but also on the basis of social and organizational theories. It is assumed that both the field of education and the fields of social studies and organizational consulting will benefit from the multifocal viewpoint

Keywords: educational theories, professional development, re-education, teachers' beliefs

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2193 Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Designing Negotiated English Lesson Plans

Authors: Joko Nurkamto

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A lesson plan is a part of the planning phase in a learning and teaching system framing the scenario of pedagogical activities in the classroom. It informs a decision on what to teach and how to landscape classroom interaction. Regardless of these benefits, the writer has witnessed the fact that lesson plans are viewed merely as a teaching document. Therefore, this paper will explore teachers’ beliefs and practices in designing lesson plans. It focuses primarily on how both teachers and students negotiate lesson plans in which the students are deemed to be the agents of instructional innovations. Additionally, the paper will talk about how such lesson plans are enacted. To investigate these issues, document analysis, in-depth interviews, participant classroom observation, and focus group discussion will be deployed as data collection methods in this explorative case study. The benefits of the paper are to show different roles of lesson plans and to discover different ways to design and enact such plans from a socio-interactional perspective.

Keywords: instructional innovation, learning and teaching system, lesson plan, pedagogical activities, teachers' beliefs and practices

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2192 The Impact of Science Teachers' Epistemological Beliefs and Metacognition on Their Use of Inquiry Based Teaching Approaches

Authors: Irfan Ahmed Rind

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Science education has recently become the top priority of government of Pakistan. Number of schemes has been initiated for the improvement of science teaching and learning at primary and secondary levels of education, most importantly training in-service science teachers on inquiry based teaching and learning to empower students and encourage creativity, critical thinking, and innovation among them. Therefore, this approach has been promoted in the recent continuous professional development trainings for the in-service teachers. However, the follow ups on trained science teachers and educators suggest that these teachers fail to implement the inquiry based teaching and learning in their classes. In addition, these trainings also fail to bring any significant change in students’ science content knowledge and understanding as per the annual national level surveys conducted by government and independent agencies. Research suggests that science has been taught using scientific positivism, which supports objectivity based on experiments and mathematics. In contrary, the inquiry based teaching and learning are based on constructivism, which conflicts with the positivist epistemology of science teachers. It was, therefore, assumed that science teachers struggle to implement the inquiry based teaching approach as it conflicts with their basic epistemological beliefs. With this assumption, this research aimed to (i) understand how science teachers conceptualize the nature of science, and how this influence their understanding of learning, learners, their own roles as teachers and their teaching strategies, (ii) identify the conflict of science teachers’ epistemological beliefs with the inquiry based teaching approach, and (iii) find the ways in which science teachers epistemological beliefs may be developed from positivism to constructivism, so that they may effectively use the inquiry based teaching approach in teaching science. Using qualitative case study approach, thirty six secondary and higher secondary science teachers (21 male and 15 female) were selected. Data was collected using interviewed, participatory observations (sixty lessons were observed), and twenty interviews from students for verifications of teachers’ responses. The findings suggest that most of the science teacher were positivist in defining the nature of science. Most of them limit themselves to one fix answer that is provided in the books and that there is only one 'right' way to teach science. There is no room for students’ or teachers’ own opinion or bias when it comes to scientific concepts. Inquiry based teaching seems 'no right' to them. They find it difficult to allow students to think out of the box. However, some interesting exercises were found to be very effective in bringing the change in teachers’ epistemological beliefs. These will be discussed in detail in the paper. The findings have major implications for the teachers, educators, and policymakers.

Keywords: science teachers, epistemology, metacognition, inquiry based teaching

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2191 Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs about Diagnostic Language Assessment Practices in a Large-Scale Assessment Program

Authors: Oluwaseun Ijiwade, Chris Davison, Kelvin Gregory

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In Australia, like other parts of the world, the debate on how to enhance teachers using assessment data to inform teaching and learning of English as an Additional Language (EAL, Australia) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL, United States) have occupied the centre of academic scholarship. Traditionally, this approach was conceptualised as ‘Formative Assessment’ and, in recent times, ‘Assessment for Learning (AfL)’. The central problem is that teacher-made tests are limited in providing data that can inform teaching and learning due to variability of classroom assessments, which are hindered by teachers’ characteristics and assessment literacy. To address this concern, scholars in language education and testing have proposed a uniformed large-scale computer-based assessment program to meet the needs of teachers and promote AfL in language education. In Australia, for instance, the Victoria state government commissioned a large-scale project called 'Tools to Enhance Assessment Literacy (TEAL) for Teachers of English as an additional language'. As part of the TEAL project, a tool called ‘Reading and Vocabulary assessment for English as an Additional Language (RVEAL)’, as a diagnostic language assessment (DLA), was developed by language experts at the University of New South Wales for teachers in Victorian schools to guide EAL pedagogy in the classroom. Therefore, this study aims to provide qualitative evidence for understanding beliefs about the diagnostic language assessment (DLA) among EAL teachers in primary and secondary schools in Victoria, Australia. To realize this goal, this study raises the following questions: (a) How do teachers use large-scale assessment data for diagnostic purposes? (b) What skills do language teachers think are necessary for using assessment data for instruction in the classroom? and (c) What factors, if any, contribute to teachers’ beliefs about diagnostic assessment in a large-scale assessment? Semi-structured interview method was used to collect data from at least 15 professional teachers who were selected through a purposeful sampling. The findings from the resulting data analysis (thematic analysis) provide an understanding of teachers’ beliefs about DLA in a classroom context and identify how these beliefs are crystallised in language teachers. The discussion shows how the findings can be used to inform professional development processes for language teachers as well as informing important factor of teacher cognition in the pedagogic processes of language assessment. This, hopefully, will help test developers and testing organisations to align the outcome of this study with their test development processes to design assessment that can enhance AfL in language education.

Keywords: beliefs, diagnostic language assessment, English as an additional language, teacher cognition

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2190 L2 Exposure Environment, Teaching Skills, and Beliefs about Learners’ Out-of-Class Learning: A Survey on Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Authors: Susilo Susilo

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In the process of foreign language acquisition, L2 exposure has been evidently assumed efficient for learners to help increase their proficiency. However, to get enough L2 exposure in the context of learning English as a foreign language is not as easy as that of the first language learning context. Therefore, beyond the classroom L2 exposure is helpful for EFL learners to achieve the language tasks. Alongside the rapid development of technology and media, English as a foreign language is virtually used in the social media of almost all regions, affecting the faces of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). This different face of TEFL unavoidably intrigues teachers to treat their students differently in the classroom in order that they can put more effort in maximizing beyond-the-class learning to help improve their in-class achievements. The study aims to investigate: 1) EFL teachers’ teaching skills and beliefs about students’ out-of-class activities in different L2 exposure environments, and 2) the effect on EFL teachers’ teaching skills and beliefs about students’ out-of-class activities of different L2 exposure environments. This is a survey for 80 EFL teachers from Senior High Schools in three regions of two provinces in Indonesia. A questionnaire using a four-point Likert scale was distributed to the respondents to elicit data. The questionnaires were developed by reffering to the constructs of teaching skills (i.e. teaching preparation, teaching action, and teaching evaluation) and beliefs about out-of-class learning (i.e. setting, process and atmosphere), which have been taken from some expert definitions. The internal consistencies for those constructs were examined by using Cronbach Alpha. The data of the study were analyzed by using SPSS program, i.e. descriptive statistics and independent sample t-test. The standard for determining the significance was p < .05. The results revealed that: 1) teaching skills performed by the teachers of English as a foreign language in different exposure environments showed various focus of teaching skills, 2) the teachers showed various ways of beliefs about students’ out-of-class activities in different exposure environments, 3) there was a significant difference in the scores for NNESTs’ teaching skills in urban regions (M=34.5500, SD=4.24838) and those in rural schools (M=24.9500, SD=2.42794) conditions; t (78)=12.408, p = 0.000; and 4) there was a significant difference in the scores for NNESTs’ beliefs about students’ out-of-class activities in urban schools (M=36.9250, SD=6.17434) and those in rural regions (M=29.4250, SD=4.56793) conditions; t (78)=6.176, p = 0.000. These results suggest that different L2 exposure environments really do have effects on teachers’ teaching skills and beliefs about their students’ out-of-class learning.

Keywords: belief about EFL out-of-class learning, L2 exposure environment, teachers of English as a foreign language, teaching skills

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2189 Teachers’ Personal and Professional Characteristics: How They Relate to Teacher-Student Relationships and Students’ Behavior

Authors: Maria Poulou

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The study investigated how teachers’ self-rated Emotional Intelligence (EI), competence in implementing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills and teaching efficacy relate to teacher-student relationships and students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Participants were 98 elementary teachers from public schools in central Greece. They completed the Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale (SREIS), the Teacher SEL Beliefs Scale, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES), the Student-Teacher Relationships Scale-Short Form (STRS-SF) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for 617 of their students, aged 6-11 years old. Structural equation modeling was used to examine an exploratory model of the variables. It was demonstrated that teachers’ emotional intelligence, SEL beliefs and teaching efficacy were significantly related to teacher-student relationships, but they were not related to students’ emotional and behavioral difficulties. Rather, teachers’ perceptions of teacher-students relationships were significantly related to these difficulties. These findings and their implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, social and emotional learning, teacher-student relationships, teaching efficacy

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2188 A Mixed Method Approach Investigating EFL Teachers' Beliefs and Practices towards Classroom-Based Assessment in Saudi Higher Educational Institutions

Authors: Mashael AlSalem

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While research into language assessment has expanded in recent years, few if any studies to date have targeted the nature of thought processes used by teachers when constructing classroom-based assessment. This study reports on teachers’ conceptions of English grammar assessment and their classroom assessment practices in their Saudi higher educational facilities. A mixed-method approach using both qualitative and quantitative research instruments was employed to elicit teachers’ perceptions of English grammar assessment and their relationship to their current practices. Participants of the study included EFL teachers from 4 different educational facilities: King Saudi University, Princess Noura University, Imam Mouhamed Islamic University, and Institute of Public Administration. Data collection involved questionnaire (N=100), semi-structured interviews (N=30), retrospective thinking (N=20), and document analysis (N=20). Activity theory is used as an interpretive framework to explore and investigate the entire system of constructing classroom-based assessment. Preliminary findings reveal several similarities and differences between the participants’ stated beliefs and their current practices of assessing English grammar. Findings also showed that teacher participant’s beliefs about how English grammar should be assessed are influenced mostly by prior learning experience as well as their teaching instruction practices. Their practices, on the other hand, was more guided by educational policies and lack of teacher training in the field of assessment, among other factors. This research makes a significant contribution to knowledge in three different areas: it enriches the literature on language teacher cognition; it builds on the body of research on language classroom assessment, and it expands on the possibilities to use AC to investigate the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices.

Keywords: activity theory, classroom-based assessment, language teacher cognition, mixed method approach

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2187 The Role of Motivational Beliefs and Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in The Prediction of Mathematics Teacher Candidates' Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) Perceptions

Authors: Ahmet Erdoğan, Şahin Kesici, Mustafa Baloğlu

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Information technologies have lead to changes in the areas of communication, learning, and teaching. Besides offering many opportunities to the learners, these technologies have changed the teaching methods and beliefs of teachers. What the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) means to the teachers is considerably important to integrate technology successfully into teaching processes. It is necessary to understand how to plan and apply teacher training programs in order to balance students’ pedagogical and technological knowledge. Because of many inefficient teacher training programs, teachers have difficulties in relating technology, pedagogy and content knowledge each other. While providing an efficient training supported with technology, understanding the three main components (technology, pedagogy and content knowledge) and their relationship are very crucial. The purpose of this study is to determine whether motivational beliefs and self-regulated learning strategies are significant predictors of mathematics teacher candidates' TPACK perceptions. A hundred seventy five Turkish mathematics teachers candidates responded to the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) and the Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) Scale. Of the group, 129 (73.7%) were women and 46 (26.3%) were men. Participants' ages ranged from 20 to 31 years with a mean of 23.04 years (SD = 2.001). In this study, a multiple linear regression analysis was used. In multiple linear regression analysis, the relationship between the predictor variables, mathematics teacher candidates' motivational beliefs, and self-regulated learning strategies, and the dependent variable, TPACK perceptions, were tested. It was determined that self-efficacy for learning and performance and intrinsic goal orientation are significant predictors of mathematics teacher candidates' TPACK perceptions. Additionally, mathematics teacher candidates' critical thinking, metacognitive self-regulation, organisation, time and study environment management, and help-seeking were found to be significant predictors for their TPACK perceptions.

Keywords: candidate mathematics teachers, motivational beliefs, self-regulated learning strategies, technological and pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge

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2186 A Study on Pre-Service English Teachers' Language Self Efficacy and Learning Goal Orientation

Authors: Erteki̇n Kotbaş

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is on the front burner of many countries in the world, in particular for English language teaching departments that train EFL teachers. Under the head of motivational theories in foreign language education, there are numerous researches in literature. However; researches comprising English language self-efficacy and teachers’ learning goal orientation which has a positive impact on learning teachings skills are scarce. Examination of these English language self-efficacy beliefs and learning goal orientations of pre-service EFL teachers may broaden the horizons, considering the importance of self-efficacy and goal orientation on learning and teaching activities. At this juncture, present study aims to investigate the strong relationship between English language self efficacy and teachers’ learning goal orientation from Turkish context in addition to teacher students’ grade factor.

Keywords: English language, learning goal orientation, self efficacy, pre-service teachers

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2185 Situated Professional Development: Examining Strengths, Challenges, and Ways Forward

Authors: Youmen Chaaban

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The study examined the influence of a situated professional development program (PD) aimed at enhancing English language teachers’ knowledge and skills and improving their instructional practices. The PD model under examination was developed upon sound theoretical underpinnings, taking into consideration research-based principles of effective PD. However, the implementation of the PD model within several school contexts required further investigation from the perspectives of the teachers, who were receiving the PD activities, and the instructional coaches, who were providing them. The paper, thus, presents the results of a qualitative study examining the perceptions of seventeen English language teachers and nineteen instructional coaches about the strengths of the PD program, the challenges they faced in the implementation of the program, and their suggestions for the improvement of the program’s implementation and outcomes. Comparisons were further made between the two groups of participants to uncover agreements and contradictions in their perceptions. Data were collected from the teachers through in-depth interviews and observations, while the data collected from the instructional coaches were open-ended surveys followed by focus group interviews. The findings of the study confirm the necessity of structuring PD activities around sound theoretical underpinnings. However, practical considerations specific to the contexts where the PD activities take place should be considered when evaluating the PD’s effectiveness. Finally, the study provides several recommendations for maximizing the influence of the PD program on teachers’ practices and beliefs.

Keywords: English language teachers, situated professional development, teacher beliefs, teacher practices

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2184 A Study on Pre-Service English Language Teacher's Language Self-Efficacy and Goal Orientation

Authors: Ertekin Kotbas

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Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is on the front burner of many countries in the world, in particular for English Language Teaching departments that train EFL teachers. Under the head of motivational theories in foreign language education, there are numerous researches in literature. However; researches comprising English Language Self-Efficacy and Teachers’ Learning Goal Orientation which has a positive impact on learning teachings skills are scarce. Examination of these English Language self-efficacy beliefs and Learning Goal Orientations of Pre-Service EFL Teachers may broaden the horizons, in consideration the importance of self-efficacy and goal orientation on learning and teaching activities. At this juncture, the present study aims to investigate the relationship between English Language Self-Efficacy and Teachers’ Learning Goal Orientation from Turkish context.

Keywords: English language, learning goal orientation, self-efficacy, pre-service teachers

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2183 Investigating Transformative Practices in the Bangladeshi Classroom

Authors: Rubaiyat Jahan, Nasreen Sultana Mitu

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This paper examines the theoretical construct of transformative practices, and reports some evidence of transformative practices from a couple of Bangladeshi English teachers. The idea of transformative practices calls for teachers’ capabilities to invest their intellectual labor in teaching with an assumption that along with the academic advancement of the learners, it aims for the personal transformation for both the learners as well for themselves. Following an ethnographic research approach, data for this study were collected through in-depth interviews, informal talks and classroom observations for a period of one year. In relevance to the English classroom of the Bangladeshi context, from this study, references of transformative practices have been underlined from the participant teachers’ views on English language teaching as well as from their actual practices. According to data of this research, some evidence of transformative practices in the form of critical language awareness and personal theories of practices emerge from the participants’ articulation of the beliefs on teaching; and from the participant teachers’ classroom practices evidence of self-directed acts of teaching, self-directed acts of professional development, and liberatory autonomy have been highlighted as the reflections of transformative practices. The implication of this paper refers to the significance of practicing teachers’ articulation of beliefs and views on teaching along with their orientation to critical pedagogical relations.

Keywords: critical language awareness, personal theories of practice, teacher autonomy, transformative practices

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2182 The Appropriation of Education Policy on Information and Communication Technology in South African Schools

Authors: T. Vandeyar

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The purpose of this study is to explore how Government policy on ICT influences teaching and learning in South African schools. An instrumental case study using backward mapping principles as a strategy of inquiry was used. Utilizing a social constructivist lens and guided by a theoretical framework of a sociocultural approach to policy analysis, this exploratory qualitative research study set out to investigate how teachers appropriate government policy on ICT in South African schools. Three major findings emanated from this study. First, although teachers were ignorant of the national e-education policy their professionalism and agency were key in formulating and implementing an e-education policy in practice. Second, teachers repositioned themselves not as recipients or reactors of the e-education policy but as social and cultural actors of policy appropriation and formulation. Third, the lack of systemic support to teachers catalyzed improved school and teacher collaborations, teachers became drivers of ICT integration through collaboration, innovation, institutional practice and institutional leadership.

Keywords: ICT, teachers as change agents, practice as policy, teacher's beliefs, teacher's attitudes

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2181 The Attitude of High School Teachers in Saudi Arabia towards Computers: Qualitative Study

Authors: Manal O. Alothman, Judy Robertson

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Teachers can play a huge role in encouraging students to use computers and can affect students’ attitudes towards computers. So understanding teachers’ beliefs and their use of computers is an important way to create effective motivational systems for teachers to use computers in the classroom in an effective way.A qualitative study (6 focus group) was carried out among Saudi High school teachers, both male and female, to examine their attitudes towards computers and to find out their computer skills and usage. The study showed a gender difference in that females were less likely to attend computer workshops, females also had less computer skills, and they have more negative attitudes towards computers than males. Also, the study found that low computer skills in the classroom made students unlikely to have the lessons presented using computers. Furthermore, the study found some factors that affected teachers’ attitudes towards computers. These factors were computer experience and confidence as much having skills and good experience in computer use, the role and importance of computers had become in their life and in teaching as well.

Keywords: attitude, education, student, teacher, technology

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2180 Developing Educator Cultural Awareness through Critically Reflective Professional Learning Community Collaboration

Authors: Brooke A. Moore

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Developing teachers’ cultural awareness ensures schools are culturally responsive and socially just for diverse and exceptional students. An ideology of ‘normal’ exists in schools, creating boundaries where some students belong and others are marginalized based on difference. It is important that teacher preparation work to create democratic classrooms where teachers foster tolerance of difference and promote critical thinking and social justice. This paper outlines a framework for developing educator cultural awareness through the use of critically reflective professional learning communities (PLCs) drawing from the research on teacher critical reflection, collaborative PLCs, and Engeström’s theory of expansive learning. A case study using the framework was conducted with ten practicing teachers. Participants read and reflected on critical literature to make visible unexamined beliefs, engaged in conversations that pushed them to reflect more deeply and project forward new ideas, and set goals for acting as agents of change in their schools.

Keywords: cultural and linguistic diversity, diversity, special education, teacher beliefs

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2179 Analysis of Teachers' Self Efficacy in Terms of Emotional Intelligence

Authors: Ercan Yilmaz, Ali Murat Sünbül

Abstract:

The aim of the study is to investigate teachers’ self-efficacy with regards to their emotional intelligence. The relational model was used in the study. The participant of the study included 194 teachers from secondary schools in Konya, Turkey. In order to assess teachers’ emotional intelligence, “Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-short Form was implemented. For teachers’ self-efficacy, “Teachers’ Sense of Self-Efficacy Scale” was used. As a result of the study, a significant relationship is available between teachers’ sense of self-efficacy and their emotional intelligence. Teachers’ emotional intelligence enucleates approximate eighteen percent of the variable in dimension named teachers’ self-efficacy for the students’ involvement. About nineteen percent of the variable in dimension “self-efficacy for teaching strategies is represented through emotional intelligence. Teachers’ emotional intelligence demonstrates about seventeen percent of variable aimed at classroom management.

Keywords: teachers, self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, education

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2178 Educational Video Capsules for Fostering Teachers Creativity

Authors: Martha Salinas, Valkyria Bernal

Abstract:

Creativity is a possible response to the profound social, economic, and global changes society is living and education is the source to develop this kind of capacity. However, institutional pressures often prevent teachers from engaging in creative teaching practices and make innovation not the main curricular focus when building learning scenarios and experiences. This study proposes and validates the use of a prototype of Educative Video – Capsules from the perspective of teacher training, presenting the different stages of design, the content plan, as well as the influences of its components and characteristics from the perspective of creativity. The paper presents literature findings of the factors that influence the innovative behavior of teachers, the beliefs of teachers about creativity and its nature, as well as the creative pedagogies that have generated better results. The results show that the disposition of teachers towards creative pedagogies improves significantly with the use of a tool that is based on the principles of microlearning and is developed in a non-academic, autonomous, and non-imposed family environment as traditional teacher training processes usually occur.

Keywords: educational innovation, resistance to innovation, creativity, creative pedagogy

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2177 Implementation of a Culturally Responsive Home Visiting Framework in Head Start Teacher Professional Development

Authors: Meilan Jin, Mary Jane Moran

Abstract:

This study aims to introduce the framework of culturally responsive home visiting (CRHV) to head start teacher professional sessions in the Southeastern of the US and investigate its influence on the evolving beliefs of teachers about their roles and relationships with families in-home visits. The framework orients teachers to an effective way of taking on the role of learner to listen for spoken and unspoken needs and look for family strengths. In addition, it challenges the deficit model that is grounded on 'cultural deprivation,' and it stresses the value of family cultures and advocates equal, collaborative parent-teacher relationships. The home visit reflection papers and focus group transcriptions of eight teachers have been collected since 2010 throughout a five-year longitudinal collaboration with them. Reflection papers were written by the teachers before and after introducing the CRHV framework, including the details of visit purposes and actions and their plans for later home visits. Particularly, the CRHV framework guided the teachers to listen and look for information about family-living environments; parent-child interactions; child-rearing practices; and parental beliefs, values, and needs. Two focus groups were organized in 2014 by asking the teachers to read their written reflection papers and then discussing their shared beliefs and experiences of home visits in recent years. The average length of the discussions was one hour, and the discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Moreover, the data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis, and the analysis was verified through (a) the uses of multiple data sources, (b) the involvement of multiple researchers, (c) coding checks, and (d) the provisions of the thick descriptions of the findings. The study findings corroborate that the teachers become to reposition themselves as 'knowledge seekers' through reorienting their cynosure toward 'setting stones' to learn, grow, and change rather than framing their home visits. The teachers also continually engage in careful listening, observing, questioning, and dialoguing, and these actions reflect their care toward parents. The value of teamwork with parents is advocated, and the teachers recognize that when parents feel empowered, they are active and committed to doing more for their children, which can further advantage proactive long-term parent-teacher collaborations. The study findings also validate that the framework is influential for educators to provide the experiences of home visiting that is culturally responsive and to share collaborative relationships with caregivers. The long-term impact of the framework further implies that teachers continue to put themselves in the position of evolving, including beliefs and actions, to better work with children and families who are culturally, ethnically, and linguistically different from them. This framework can be applicable to educators and professionals who are looking for avenues to bridge the relationship between home and school and parents and teachers.

Keywords: culturally responsive home visit, early childhood education, parent–teacher collaboration, teacher professional development

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2176 Becoming a Teacher in Kazakhstan

Authors: D. Shamatov

Abstract:

Becoming a teacher is a journey with significant learning experiences. Exploring teachers’ lives and experiences can provide much-needed insights into the multiple realities of teaching. Teachers’ stories through qualitative narrative studies help understand and appreciate the complexities of the socio-political, economic and practical realities facing teachers. Events and experiences, both past and present, that take place at home, school, and in the broader social sphere help to shape these teachers’ lives and careers. Researchers and educators share the responsibility of listening to these teachers’ stories and life experiences and being sensitive to their voices in order to develop effective models for teacher development. A better understanding of how teachers learn to become teachers can help teacher educators prepare more effective teacher education programs. This paper is based on qualitative research which includes individual and focus group interviews, as well as auto-biography stories of Master of Science in School Leadership students at Graduate School of Education of Nazarbayev University. Twenty five MSc students from across Kazakhstan reflected on their professional journey and wrote their professional autobiographies as teachers. Their autobiographies capture the richness of their experiences and beliefs as a teacher, but also serve as window to understand broader socio-economic and political contexts where these teachers live and work. The study also provides an understanding of the systemic and socio-economic challenges of teachers in the context of post-Soviet Kazakhstan. It helps the reader better understand how wider societal forces interact and frame the development of teachers. The paper presents the findings from these stories of MSc students and offers some practical and policy implications for teacher preparation and teacher development.

Keywords: becoming a teacher, Kazakhstan, teacher stories, teacher development

Procedia PDF Downloads 338
2175 Qualitative Study of Pre-Service Teachers' Imagined Professional World vs. Real Experiences of In-Service Teachers

Authors: Masood Monjezi

Abstract:

The English teachers’ pedagogical identity construction is the way teachers go through the process of becoming teachers and how they maintain their teaching selves. The pedagogical identity of teachers is influenced by several factors within the individual and the society. The purpose of this study was to compare the imagined social world of the pre-service teachers with the real experiences the in-service teachers had in the context of Iran to see how prepared the pre-service teachers are with a view to their identity being. This study used a qualitative approach to collection and analysis of the data. Structured and semi-structured interviews, focus groups and process logs were used to collect the data. Then, using open coding, the data were analyzed. The findings showed that the imagined world of the pre-service teachers partly corresponded with the real world experiences of the in-service teachers leaving the pre-service teachers unprepared for their real world teaching profession. The findings suggest that the current approaches to English teacher training are in need of modification to better prepare the pre-service teachers for the future that expects them.

Keywords: imagined professional world, in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, real experiences, community of practice, identity

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2174 Teacher’s Self-Efficacy and Self-Perception of Teaching Professional Competences

Authors: V. Biasi, A. M. Ciraci, G. Domenici, N. Patrizi

Abstract:

We present two studies centered on the teacher’s perception of self-efficacy and professional competences. The first study aims to evaluate the levels of self-efficacy as attitude in 200 teachers of primary and secondary schools. Teacher self-efficacy is related to many educational outcomes: such as teachers’ persistence, enthusiasm, commitment and instructional behavior. High level of teacher self-efficacy beliefs enhance student motivation and pupil’s learning level. On this theoretical and empirical basis we are planning a second study oriented to assess teacher self-perception of competences that are linked to teacher self-efficacy. With the CDVR Questionnaire, 287 teachers graduated in Education Sciences in e-learning mode, showed an increase in their self-perception of didactic-evaluation and relational competences and an increased confidence also in their own professionalism.

Keywords: teacher competence, teacher self-efficacy, selfperception, self-report evaluation

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2173 Factors Impacting Technology Integration in EFL Classrooms: A Study of Qatari Independent Schools

Authors: Youmen Chaaban, Maha Ellili-Cherif

Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teachers’ individual characteristics and perceptions of environmental factors that impact their technology integration into their EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms. To this end, a national survey examining EFL teachers’ perceptions was conducted at Qatari Independent schools. 263 EFL teachers responded to the survey which investigated several factors known to impact technology integration. These factors included technology availability and support, EFL teachers’ perceptions of importance, obstacles facing technology integration, competency with technology use, and formal technology preparation. The impact of these factors on teachers’ and students’ educational technology use was further measured. The analysis of the data included descriptive statistics and a chi-square analysis test in order to examine the relationship between these factors. The results revealed important cultural factors that impact teachers’ practices and attitudes towards technology in the Qatari context. EFL teachers were found to integrate technology most prominently for instructional delivery and preparation. The use of technology as a learning tool received less emphasis. Teachers further revealed consistent perceptions about obstacles to integration, high levels of confidence in using technology, and consistent beliefs about the importance of using technology as a learning tool. Further analyses of the factors impacting technology integration can assist with Qatar’s technology advancement and development efforts by indicating the areas of strength and areas where additional efforts are needed. The results will lay the foundation for conducting context-specific professional development suitable for the needs of EFL teachers in Qatari Independent Schools.

Keywords: educational technology integration, Qatar, EFL, independent schools, ICT

Procedia PDF Downloads 285
2172 Irbid National University Students’ Beliefs about English Language Learning

Authors: Khaleel Bader Bataineh

Abstract:

Past studies have maintained that the Arab learners' beliefs about language learning hold vital effects on their performance. Thus, this study was carried out to investigate the language learning beliefs of Irbid National University students. It aimed at identifying the language learning beliefs according to gender. This study is a descriptive design that employed survey questionnaire of Language Learning Beliefs Inventory (BALLI). The data were elicited from 83 English major students during the class sessions. The data were analyzed using an SPSS program in which frequency analysis and t-test were performed to examine the students’ responses. Thus, the major findings of this research indicated that there is a variation in responses with regards to the subjects’ beliefs about English learning. Also, the findings show significant differences in four questionnaire items according to gender. It is hoped that the findings provide valuable insights to educators about the learners’ beliefs which assist them to develop the teaching and learning English language process in Jordan universities.

Keywords: foreign language, students’ beliefs, language learning, Arab students

Procedia PDF Downloads 410