The Investigation Of The Attitudes Of The Future Teachers Towards Teacher Autonomy A Qualitative Research


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Teacher Autonomy: Are we autonomous enough?

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The Investigation Of The Attitudes Of The Future Teachers Towards Teacher Autonomy A Qualitative Research

  1. 1. CEM BALÇIKANLI Gazi University INGED The Investigation of the Attitudes of the Future Teachers towards Teacher Autonomy : A Qualitative Research Cem BALÇIKANLI Gazi University, Faculty of Education, English Language Teaching Department E-mail: [email_address] 17 th IATEFL-Hungary conference Budapest, 5-7 October 2007
  2. 3. <ul><li>* language teachers are more likely to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>in promoting learner autonomy if their own </li></ul><ul><li>education has encouraged them to be </li></ul><ul><li>autonomous (Little, 1995: 180) </li></ul><ul><li>* teachers become more reflective as learners </li></ul><ul><li>become more d autonomous and vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>(Viera, 1997: 66) </li></ul>my motivation
  3. 4. what is not? <ul><li>1- teacher autonomy IS NOT an independence or </li></ul><ul><li>isolation. </li></ul><ul><li>2- teacher autonomy CAN NOT be interpreted as </li></ul><ul><li>additional responsibilities given to the teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>3- teacher autonomy CAN NOT be explained as </li></ul><ul><li>an exclusive psychological, technical or political </li></ul><ul><li>issue. </li></ul><ul><li>4- teacher autonomy IS NOT a static entity that </li></ul><ul><li>some people possess and others do not. </li></ul><ul><li>5- teacher autonomy DOES NOT refer to an </li></ul><ul><li>absolute state of freedom from constraints. </li></ul><ul><li> (Usma, 2007:24) </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>the capacity, freedom, and/or responsibility to </li></ul><ul><li>make choices concerning one’s own teaching </li></ul><ul><li>(Aoki, 2002: 111) </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to develop appropriate skills, knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>and attitudes for oneself as a teacher, in </li></ul><ul><li>cooperation with others ( Smith, 2003: 1) </li></ul><ul><li>teachers’ willingness, capacity and freedom to take </li></ul><ul><li>control of their own teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>(Huang, 2005: 206) </li></ul>definitions
  5. 6. methodology <ul><li>what: to investigate the attitudes of the </li></ul><ul><li>future teachers towards teacher autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>who: 108 future teachers at Gazi University, </li></ul><ul><li>Ankara, Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>how: a survey with six open-ended questions </li></ul>
  6. 7. 1- how do you define a successful teacher? <ul><li>subject knowledge... </li></ul><ul><li>teaching knowledge... </li></ul><ul><li>intellectual knowledge... </li></ul><ul><li>BEYOND... </li></ul>
  7. 8. pearls by future teachers <ul><li>...she (teacher) is always open to change. </li></ul><ul><li>...he is the one who knows what, when and how to do when he is teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>...i think she is the teacher who manages to reach her goals. </li></ul><ul><li> my opinion, she should involve the students in the learning process (learner-centeredness). </li></ul><ul><li>...he always develops himself. </li></ul><ul><li>...he is aware of himself as a teacher. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>is creative, open to development, ready to take risks, willing to search, planned, open to criticism, aware of his strengths and weaknesses, aware of what is happening around. </li></ul><ul><li>has self-esteem and self-confidence, good time- </li></ul><ul><li>management skills, the ability to self-criticize, the ability to self-regulate, the ability to make decisions regarding his own teaching, problem solving skills. </li></ul>2- what are the characteristics of a responsible teacher?
  9. 10. 3. what do you understand from the term “teacher autonomy”? <ul><li>the ability to self-assess for the sake of her learners, </li></ul><ul><li>the capacity to develop certain skills for oneself as a teacher, the tendency to criticise oneself, self-development, self-observation, self-awareness of his own teaching, continous reflection, sustainable development, self-control, taking responsibility for his own learners, being open to change through co-operation with others, questioning oneself in particular positions, improving oneself so as to keep up with the changing conditions of the century, an attempt to compensate for what he lacks as a teacher </li></ul>
  10. 11. pearls by future teachers <ul><li>...that a teacher is aware of what he knows/doesn’t </li></ul><ul><li>know about his own teaching. </li></ul><ul><li> far as I have understood, it refers to a teacher who </li></ul><ul><li>knows where and what to do. </li></ul><ul><li>...teacher autonomy is the awareness of his own </li></ul><ul><li>strength/weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>...the ability to solve the problems which he comes across </li></ul><ul><li>in the classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>...teacher autonomy is the responsibility to make choices </li></ul><ul><li>regarding her own teaching. </li></ul>
  11. 12. 4. is it important to have teacher autonomy? why? <ul><li> order to be a successful teacher, one should criticize and </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate oneself. </li></ul><ul><li>...teacher autonomy is essential for successful language </li></ul><ul><li>learning/teaching. </li></ul><ul><li> is necessary because it leads the teachers to catch up with </li></ul><ul><li>the innovations. </li></ul><ul><li>...i think the lack of teacher autonomy causes some problems. </li></ul><ul><li> can not become a successful teacher unless he knows how, what and why to do. </li></ul><ul><li>...important because one who doesn’t know oneself fails to know others. </li></ul>
  12. 13. pearls by future teachers... (2) <ul><li>...teachers are also learners, so they would have a look at the </li></ul><ul><li>issues from their own perspectives. </li></ul><ul><li>...a teacher should ask himself some questions such as </li></ul><ul><li>“ who am i?”, “what am i doing? </li></ul><ul><li>...teacher autonomy helps the teachers to be aware of their strength and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li> refers to the teachers to know what, how and why to do. </li></ul><ul><li> is inevitable for the qualified teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>...crucial as teacher autonomy is the key point to overcome the problems which occur in the classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>...important as life is going on. </li></ul>
  13. 14. 5. what should a teacher do to promote her own autonomy? <ul><li>...s/he should read a lot to be familiar with current subjects. </li></ul><ul><li>...s/he should be able to observe herself. </li></ul><ul><li> service training is inevitable, but he has to be competent </li></ul><ul><li>enough to decide which one to attend. </li></ul><ul><li> my opinion, she should cooperate with others. </li></ul><ul><li> is really necessary to be open to criticism. </li></ul><ul><li>...she may take notes at the end of each lesson, then she </li></ul><ul><li>evaluates them. </li></ul><ul><li> themselves would be beneficial. </li></ul><ul><li> by the students may be given to the teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>...self-observation forms may be supplied to the teachers. </li></ul>
  14. 15. pearls by future teachers... (2) <ul><li>...above all, he should be given the opportunity to develop his own autonomy. </li></ul><ul><li> would be nice to write classroom events each day. </li></ul><ul><li>...teachers should observe each other to give feedback </li></ul><ul><li>(peer-observation). </li></ul><ul><li>...he should raise his awareness regarding his own teaching. </li></ul><ul><li> would be a good idea to attend seminars and conferences </li></ul><ul><li>...a very careful lesson-plan is required. </li></ul><ul><li>...she should be planned. </li></ul><ul><li>...she should believe that it is really necessary. </li></ul><ul><li> is a must to question himself </li></ul><ul><li> should be aware of his good and bad points. </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>...i believe that it is a continuous process, but ı </li></ul><ul><li>am at the very beginning of teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>...i still find myself incompetent to conduct my own teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>...i strongly believe that teacher’s own autonomy is a life-long </li></ul><ul><li>process, so I can not say I am totally an autonomous teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>...i need an atmosphere in which I can feel more autonomous </li></ul><ul><li>in my teaching, </li></ul><ul><li>... i haven’t taught in the real classrooms, so I am not able to </li></ul><ul><li>answer this question properly. </li></ul><ul><li>...i can say that i am using internet to catch up with the latest </li></ul><ul><li>innovations. </li></ul>6. how do you interpret your own teaching in terms of autonomy?
  16. 17. <ul><li>...unlucky because we have not taught in the real classrooms, </li></ul><ul><li>and also we should be given more opportunities to practice our teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>, i taught english for the first time, which was perfect, </li></ul><ul><li>even though I made lots of mistakes, nobody realized it except for me, i think autonomy is important at this point. </li></ul><ul><li>...i am aware of my weaknesses, i think i will overcome them once I start to teach in real classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>...i think i am competent enough to carry out my own teaching as i know where, what and when to do. </li></ul><ul><li>...since i started to take methodology courses, i have been examining my teachers in terms of teaching skills. </li></ul>pearls by future teachers... (2)
  17. 18. concluding remarks <ul><li>* teacher autonomy should be emphasized in pre-service training as well as in-service training. </li></ul><ul><li>* in order to develop teachers’ own autonomy, using portfolios is required in teacher education. </li></ul><ul><li>* teacher logs are a very important means of raising the teachers’ autonomy. </li></ul><ul><li>* teacher trainees must be given a room to develop their own autonomy. </li></ul><ul><li>* action research </li></ul><ul><li>* reflective practice </li></ul>
  18. 20. Gazi University ELT DEPARTMENT Cem BALÇIKANLI [email_address] Thank you