Teacher logs and interactive decision-making : a case study of contingencies in an EFL organizational culture and the implications for teacher development for part-time teachers
This is a case study of a program of native speaker part-time EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers in a junior college in Japan. It has grown out of a curiosity to ascertain how the teachers have formed and continue to maintain a coordinated program in what would seem to be a disadvantageous national context where as part-time foreign teachers they are expected to do little more than just teach a few classes of mainly oral English. This study investigates the organizational culture the teachers have formed for themselves within their staffroom, and looks at the implications of this for part-time teachers in such an environment. More specifically, the study highlights that central to the program is an interactive decision-making function engaged in by all the teachers which has not only created but also continually enables an identifiable staffroom culture. This organizational culture is contingent on college and staffroom conditions, program affordances such as shared class logs and curriculum sharing, and on the interactive decision-making itself. It is postulated that the contingencies formed in this created and continually creating shared world not only offer the teachers a proficient way to work in their severely time-constricted environment, but also provide them with fertile ground for the self-regulation of a thus created zone of covert staffroom ‘on-the-job’ teacher development.