Hindsight and Changing How We Teach

By Published On: April 7th, 2016

In talking about the notion of professional growth, one ESL instructor remarked that a decade of encounters for most teachers really indicates one year that is just the same year 10 times. This leads someone to ask: Is this the situation for indigenous ESL teachers? This example was started because of prior investigation on instructor change among native ESL instructors. Within this research, the answers between the instructors who were new to the country and people who were already here for a while were frequently quite diverse in nature: Instructors who were new or younger were more likely to be disenchanted with their pupils, and were more likely to have more trouble in finding any similarities to their colleagues. Instructors who had more experience in the country appeared to become content, more accepting, calm, and better adjusted. Therefore, the aim of the study would be to better explain problems and questions regarding individual and professional growth of native ESL instructors that have taught in the country for more than 12 years.

The Issue
The study on the development of adults has frequently been criticized as coming to a place where child development was more than fifty years ago. Lately, more interest has been turned upon how it may influence professional careers and periods in private adult growth. Different schema has been shown: Unruh and Turner break up careers into intervals of maturing, building protection and starting; careers are divided by Gregorc into phases of getting, growing, maturing and eventually, the fully working professional stage. Katz describes the four phases as survival, consolidation, renewal, and adulthood. Feiman and Floden look at three ideas of teacher improvement; the very first of which includes survival, consolidation and renewal; the others concentrate on teachers’ ego, moral and cognitive improvement and ways to help teachers’ in their development through in-service training.

A typical criticism for this sort of schema has been that individual variations in expertise are not recognized. Burdon provides a framework of instructor career cycles which are made up of survival, adjustment, and mature periods. Nevertheless, he also has no leeway for personal variations. While variations in instructor improvement could be better explained, what appears to be more significant is what instructors are saying about their encounter. This is much more important for teachers residing in the country and needing to adjust to various organizations, functions, and tradition. More descriptive study is required before a concrete answer can be put forth.

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