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Title: Continuing professional development and reflective practice for English teachers in the municipal schools in Northeast Brazil
Author: De Lima, Kalina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 3735
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis presents the rationale, design and outcomes of an action research study carried out in Northeast Brazil on the continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers of English as a second language (ESL). Municipal ESL teachers in Northeast Brazil are faced with problems such as the scarcity or lack of resources; lack of opportunities for CPD courses; lack of attention to English on the part of the government; and classes which are too large. In my action research a CPD course was designed and delivered to 20 in-service municipal ESL teachers. The course has had the purpose of providing those teachers with an opportunity to improve their own linguistic skills and confidence as teachers of English writing, and of equipping them to find longer term solutions for the challenges they encounter in their practice. It was based on reflective practice and related professional development theory (Dewey, 1933; Freire, 1972, 1974; Mann and Walsh, 2013; Schön, 1983; Allwright, 2003; Guskey, 2000; Jay and Johnson, 2002), with a focus on writing and creativity (Harmer, 2007; Hyland, 2003; Zemach and Rumisek, 2005; Raimes, 1983a, 1983b, 2002, Moon, 2008; Pavlenko, 2002). The study was guided by the key research question: “How can a continuing professional development course grounded in reflective practice with a focus on writing impact Northeast Brazil ESL teachers’ attitudes and planning?” The tools utilised to address the key question and other related sub- questions were in-class pieces of writing, and workshops carried out in the course for design of teaching materials, as well as focus groups, interviews, and class discussions. Results show that even though teachers are faced with scarcity of resources in their teaching, they could respond to opportunities for professional reflection, and were also willing to plan more engaging, creative and meaningful activities. However, some found it hard to leave behind traditional practices involving the teaching of fragmented language, with no opportunity for contextualized writing. The analysed results show encouraging signs that teachers working in difficult circumstances can benefit from the opportunity to share ideas and together design teaching materials applicable in their context, and that dialogical intervention in the CPD course is the right path to foster teachers’ professional development in unfavourable settings.
Supervisor: Mitchell, Rosamond ; Bonfim, Washington Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education ; PB Modern European Languages