Hassan Soodmand Afshar; Hossein Movassagh
The importance of language teacher identity has been widely recognized recently as teachers’ professional development is highly influenced by the ways teachers view themselves. ...
The importance of language teacher identity has been widely recognized recently as teachers’ professional development is highly influenced by the ways teachers view themselves. Critical orientation towards identity has also received considerable attention recently. The present study, thus, investigated the effect of a Critical Teacher Education Course (CTEC) on EFL teachers’ identity (re)construction. The participants included thirteen teachers who were first interviewed using a 20-question interview checklist whose items enabled the researchers to elicit teachers’ professional identity with a focus on critical pedagogical orientation. The teachers then attended an in-service CTEC held for ten sessions. The course was primarily dialogue-based where different premises of transformative education and critical pedagogy were introduced and discussed. This was followed by the second interview session in which the teachers were asked the same questions as the first interview. In the meantime, the teachers were also required to critically reflect on their classroom practices through reflective journals. The data were subjected to content analysis (inductive category development). The findings revealed that prior to their participation, the teachers viewed teaching English as a neutral act unaffected by contextual factors, whereas after the CTEC, they became more aware of the social, cultural, economic and political factors that might affect the whole process. Secondly, compliance with the rules and regulations, policies, and the status quo marked teachers' identities. However, they changed to more integrative teachers with critical orientations after CTEC. The findings might imply that EFL teacher training/education programmes become more localized, dialogic, interaction-based, negotiation-oriented and integration-driven.