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Becoming a (better) teacher: a case study on classroom action research as an instrument for professional development in foreign language teacher education

thesis
posted on 28.03.2022, 03:05 authored by Nora Benitt
The education and professional development of foreign language teachers is a challenging endeavour – for the (student) teachers themselves, as well as for the teacher educators and institutions involved. In particular, the meaningful integration of theory and practice is central to the ongoing discussion as to how to conceptualise and implement foreign language teacher education. In this thesis, I investigate a cohort of 12 (student) teachers enrolled in the M.A. programme ‘E-LINGO – Teaching English to Young Learners’ in the form of a qualitative-interpretative case study with the aim to explore if, how and under what circumstances classroom action research, a core component of the programme, can foster professional development. The participants have different educational and cultural backgrounds and various levels of professional experience in the field of language teaching. Over a period of two years, I collected data from multiple sources (semi-structured group interviews, learning logs, portfolios and observation notes) and afterwards triangulated and interpreted the data to elicit indicators for professional development in the form of critical learning incidents. The data analysis was methodologically guided by the Documentary Method as developed by Bohnsack (1989). The findings suggest that classroom action research can foster professional development on different levels. On an affective level, it can lead to increased professional confidence and a growing understanding of teacher roles. On an interpersonal level, action research can enhance cooperative development through successful teamwork, commitment to the shared task and adequate support structures. On a cognitive level, it may lead to increased theoretical and methodological knowledge, depending on the quality of the input as well as on the (student) teachers’ commitment towards their learning. As the findings further indicate, these levels are closely interconnected and are strongly influenced by various socio-cultural factors of the teaching and learning context as well as the (student) teachers’ biographies.

History

Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. General research context : foreign language teacher education -- 3. Specific research context : e-lingo - teaching languages to young learners -- 4. Methodological framework -- 5. The case study - design, participants and procedure -- 6. Data analysis : the search for evidence -- 7. Research results : the different dimensions of professional development -- 8. Conclusion.

Notes

Bibliography: pages 224-241 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD

Degree

PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of International Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of International Studies

Year of Award

2014

Principal Supervisor

Michael Legutke

Additional Supervisor 1

Martina Möllering

Rights

Copyright Nora Benitt 2014. Copyright disclaimer: http://www.copyright.mq.edu.au Complete version suppressed due to copyright restrictions. However, on receipt of a Document Supply Request, placed with Macquarie University Library by another library, we will consider supplying a copy of this thesis. For more information on Macquarie University's Document Supply, please contact lib.ill@mq.edu.au

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (v, 241 pages diagrams, tables)

Former Identifiers

mq:42794 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1056029