Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

teacher beliefs Related Abstracts

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

Authors: Thiru Vandeyar


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: Policy, ICT, teacher beliefs, consensus

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3 Tertiary Level Teachers' Beliefs about Codeswitching

Authors: Hoa Pham


Code switching, which can be described as the use of students’ first language in second language classrooms, has long been a controversial topic in the area of language teaching and second language acquisition. While this has been widely investigated across different contexts, little empirical research has been undertaken in Vietnam. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding of bilingual discourse and code switching practices in content and language integrated classrooms, which has significant implications for language teaching and learning in general and in particular for language pedagogy at tertiary level in Vietnam. This study examines the accounts the teachers articulated for their code switching practices in content-based Business English in Vietnam. Data were collected from five teachers through the use of stimulated recall interviews facilitated by the video data to garner the teachers' cognitive reflection, and allowed them to vocalise the motivations behind their code switching behaviour in particular contexts. The literature has recommended that when participants are provided with a large amount of stimuli or cues, they will experience an original situation again in their imagination with great accuracy. This technique can also provide a valuable "insider" perspective on the phenomenon under investigation which complements the researcher’s "outsider" observation. This can create a relaxed atmosphere during the interview process, which in turn promotes the collection of rich and diverse data. Also, participants can be empowered by this technique as they can raise their own concerns and discuss instances which they find important or interesting. The data generated through this study were analysed using a constant comparative approach. The study found that the teachers indicated their support for the use of code switching in their pedagogical practices. Particularly, as a pedagogical resource, the teachers saw code switching to the L1 playing a key role in facilitating the students' comprehension of both content knowledge and the target language. They believed the use of the L1 accommodates the students' current language competence and content knowledge. They also expressed positive opinions about the role that code switching plays in stimulating students' schematic language and content knowledge, encouraging retention and interest in learning and promoting a positive affective environment in the classroom. The teachers perceived that their use of code switching to the L1 helps them meet the students' language needs and prepares them for their study in subsequent courses and addresses functional needs so that students can cope with English language use outside the classroom. Several factors shaped the teachers' perceptions of their code switching practices, including their accumulated teaching experience, their previous experience as language learners, their theoretical understanding of language teaching and learning, and their knowledge of the teaching context. Code switching was a typical phenomenon in the observed classes and was supported by the teachers in certain contexts. This study reinforces the call in the literature to recognise this practice as a useful instructional resource.

Keywords: Language Teaching, tertiary level, teacher beliefs, codeswitching

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

Authors: Brooke A. Moore


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: Diversity, Special Education, teacher beliefs, cultural and linguistic diversity

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

Authors: Youmen Chaaban


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

Procedia PDF Downloads 44