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Mitigating the disparity between theory and practice: EFL student teachers’ perspectives and experiences of their professional development

Yoshimoto Asaoka, C; (2015) Mitigating the disparity between theory and practice: EFL student teachers’ perspectives and experiences of their professional development. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is a qualitative investigation that examines the perspectives and experiences of student teachers who become secondary-school English teachers in Japan. The initial teacher education (ITE) curriculum the teachers follow faces some problems, such as a too-short period of school-based training and a lack of clarity in goals and standards. This inquiry employs a case-study approach, using six cases created from interviews and journals that draw out unique perspectives on teachers’ professional development in ITE. The findings of the study indicate that student teachers are affected by various factors, including schooling experiences, theoretical knowledge in ITE coursework, practical teaching experiences in both formal classroom settings and informal settings beyond the curriculum. What also emerged from the qualitative data is student teachers’ struggle to adjust and apply theoretical knowledge to practical teaching experiences. Without systematic and consistent intervention from the ITE curriculum, they struggle to mitigate the disparity between theory and practice. They actively seek help for mediational means such as observing and emulating, which has been culturally endorsed in Japan, and interacting with experienced teachers and peers, rather than reconstructing their theories through directly testing their knowledge in a classroom. Furthermore, their individual struggle to find temporary solutions in mediating their teacher learning results in the variability of their experiences in ITE. The conclusion of the study is that the process of EFL student teachers’ professional development is not straightforward, as each mediational activity the teachers employ is not sufficient in itself. Working more closely with supervising teachers at schools, ITE in Japan should take a more significant role as a provider of appropriate and explicit mediation so that student teachers can develop their expertise as professional English teachers more efficiently and effectively.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Mitigating the disparity between theory and practice: EFL student teachers’ perspectives and experiences of their professional development
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473225
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