4.18 Reliability Indices 131
4.19 Construct Validity of Reflection Questionnaire 132
4.20 Construct Validity of Self-Efficacy Questionnaire 135
4.21 The Fourteenth Null Hypothesis 137
4.22 The Fifteenth Null Hypothesis 139
4.23 Discussion 140
5.1 Introduction 145
5.2 Conclusion 147
5.3 Implications of the Study 149
5.3.1 Pedagogical Implications for English Teachers 150
5.3.2 Implications for English Teacher Educators 150
5.3.3 Implications for English Language Schools 151
5.3.4 Implications for Policy Makers 152
5.3.5 Implications for Book Developers 152
5.4 Suggestions for Further Research 152
Appendix A: 169
Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) 169
Appendix B: 172
English Language Teaching Reflection Inventory (ELTRI) 172
I would like to express my gratitude to a number of individuals without whose support I could have never accomplished my research. Primarily, I owe my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Nasim Shangarfam for her invaluable guidelines all through the research, for her endless patience, and for her heartwarming encouragements.
I am sincerely grateful to my reader, Dr. Abdollah Baradaran, who kindly read my thesis word for word and unceasingly gave me his wise comments.
My heartfelt thanks go to Dr. Mehdi Sani (ex CEO of Safir Language Academy) who has made available his support in a number of ways. He triggered the idea of this research area in my mind and helped me with his precious comments all along.
I would like to thank Dr.Ramin Akbari who generously let me have a copy of one of the questionnaires used in this research.
It is a pleasure to thank the managers and the teachers of Safir Language Academy who participated in this research, without their efforts, time and patience, this research would not have been possible.
It is an honor for me to thank Mr. Hassan Sayad Chamani, (CEO of Safir Language Academy), Neda Rezaee Nouri who assisted me with the formalities of the research, for her kind assistance in distribution of the questionnaires and entering data.
Last but by no means least; I am indebted to my caring husband, Mohammad, for his patience and support all through the research. I would also like to thank my parents for their encouragement.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Reflective teaching is a familiar topic in English teacher education (Yayli, 2009; Ray & Coulter, 2008; Lord & Lomicka, 2007; Halter, 2006; Korthagen, 2004). While the idea dates back to the thirties (Dewey, 1933) and more rigorously in education to the early eighties (Schon, 1983), the “terms ‘reflection’ and ‘reflective practitioner’ are now common currency in articles about teacher education and teachers’ professional development” (Griffiths, 2000, p. 539). Reflection, in its technical sense, and thinking are not synonymous; reflection goes beyond everyday thinking, in that it is more organized and conscious (Stanley, 1998). For instance, when experienced non-reflective teachers encounter a problem while teaching, they might hastily decide on the issue based on what they can see, unable to see what in fact caused the problem. Similarly, when they think their lesson went on well, they might have noticed the reactions of louder students only. Reflection, accordingly, implies a more systematic process of collecting, recording and analyzing our own and our students’ thoughts and observations (Zeichner & Liston, 1996).
To be brief, reflective teaching means observing what one does in the classroom, contemplating the reasons one does it, and thinking about if it is effective – a process of self-observation and self-evaluation. A reflective practitioner is a person who has extensive knowledge about teaching (Richards & Lockhart, 1996; Korthagen & Wubbels, 1995) and is interested in the improvement of her/his teaching (Griffiths, 2000). She/he is aware that “experience is insufficient as a basis for development” (Richards & Lockhart, 1996, p. 4) and acknowledges that “much of what happens in teaching is unknown to the teacher” (Richards & Lockhart, 1996, p. 3) unless she/he critically reflects upon them. A reflective practitioner also believes that “much can be learned about teaching through self-inquiry” (Richards & Lockhart, 1996, p. 3). She/he does classroom investigation by keeping journals, writing lesson reports, conducting surveys and questionnaires, videotaping or audio recording of lessons, and observing peers (Farrell, 2004; Richards & Lockhart, 1996).
Notwithstanding the fact that reflective teaching is currently believed to be the dominant approach in education (Farrell, 2004; Korthagen, 2004; Zeichner & Liston, 1996; Richards & Lockhart, 1996), it seems to be flawed in some ways (Fendler, 2003). At the outset, no published report exists showing improvement in the teaching quality or teachers’ self-efficacy resulting from practicing reflective teaching (Akbari, 2007).
Self-efficacy is another feature that has been found associated with teaching effectiveness, achievement, and motivation (Knoblauch & Hoy, 2008; Eun & Heining-Boynton, 2007; Barkley, 2006; Milner, 2002; Tschannen-Moran, Hoy, & Hoy, 1998). Having conducted a large-scale literature review on teachers’ self-efficacy, Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001) reported self-efficacy to be positively related to students’ own self-efficacy, greater levels of teacher planning and organization, teachers’ openness to new ideas, their readiness to try new methods, their persistence, their becoming less critical of students, their greater enthusiasm for teaching and their commitment to it. With all the positive outcomes on students and teachers, few practical ways have been suggested to boost self-efficacy beliefs in teachers (Chan, Lau, Nie, Lim, & Hogan, 2008; Tschannen-Moran, Hoy, & Hoy, 1998).
The first aspect regarding experienced teachers is efficiency in processing of information in the classroom. Experienced teachers have the ability to transmit information. The second point is that experienced teachers are able to select information in processing. The third point is that experienced teachers consider students’ need and respond to a variety of events in the classroom.
Researchers have fruitfully used the construct of experienced to explore the knowledge that superior teachers possess (e.g.Berliner, 1986; Borko &Livingston, 1989; Carter, Cushing, Sabers, Stein, &Berliner, 1988). ).Differences between experienced and novice teachers have been researched from the perspective of teacher cognition. Specifically, researchers have attempted to outline how features of the classroom may be mentally represented by both experienced and novice teachers ((e.g. Hogan, Rabinowitz & Craven, 2003). )Comparisons of experienced and novice teachers have shown that they differ in how they perceive and interpret classroom events (Calderhead, 1981)think and make decisions ((Berliner, 1987; Clark & ) (Peterson, 1986), )and develop experienced in pedagogical and content knowledge (Berliner, 1986).
This research, hence, was an attempt to investigate a relationship between novice and experienced EFL teachers’ self-efficacy and self -reflection and to discover the components of each on novice and experienced EFL teachers.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Iran, English is considered a foreign language (EFL) and is taught both throughout the formal education (secondary school and university) and at language schools (Amadio, 2003). Private Language schools in Iran are not part of the formal education. In this research, “academic setting”, “academic school” and “academic learner” refer to setting, schools and learners in secondary school and universities, and “private setting”, “private schools”, and “private learner” refer to setting, schools, and learners in non-governmentally funded language schools.
Second year of the lower secondary is the first year students study English at school. Studying English only for 2 hours 15 minutes a week, they continue until they receive their high school diploma. During the final year of the upper secondary program (pre-university course), however, this time increases to three hours a week (Fallahi, 2007).
At university level, for those not majoring in English language (English language and literature, teaching English, linguistics, and translation), English instruction does not exceed 8 out of about 140 credit hours of undergraduate studies (Fallahi, 2007)
Private language schools play a more important role in the field of ELT in Iran. Courses offered in these language schools usually focus on all four skills (Yarmohammadi, 1995), unlike upper-secondary schools and universities, which focus more on redaing. These schools usually have different programs for various age groups. Course books employed are more up-to-date and they usually follow more contemporary teaching methodologies.
In the field of ELT, Iranian students and teachers face numerous problems. These problems can be classified under three categories: learners, materials and setting, and instructors. Many of the problems concern learners. Primarily, most academic learners lack motivation to study English (Talebinezhad & Sadegi Benis, 2005), while it provides one of the essential key factors that initiates learning in L2. Lack of motivation can be because academic learners do not expect to use English in authentic situations in future, as very few Iranians travel to English speaking countries and Iran is not a very attractive tourist spot for native speakers of English. Consequently, many students become mark oriented and the major reason to study English becomes to pass the course and not to learn (Karimnia & Salehi Zade, 2007).
Karimnia and Salehi Zade (2007) also