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Title: Exploring EFL teachers' views regarding their CPD activities and challenges at one of the Saudi Arabian universities
Author: Alshahrani, Abdullah
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 5590
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2017
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This interpretive research study explores how English-language teachers at a Saudi Arabian university viewed continuing professional development (CPD). The aims were to achieve a proper understanding of the CPD which these teachers currently received and a recognition of their views regarding their professional development (PD), to discover what forms of CPD they did and did not engage in and to give voice to these teachers by encouraging them to express their views about PD as a fundamental aspect of their work. The study also addresses issues related to the PD of teachers of English in Saudi Arabia such as the nature of the challenges that they and other teachers face in their attempts to engage in CPD, the selection and initiation of professional development activities, areas where PD is needed and the benefits of PD, based on the views and suggestions of the teachers. The exploratory design involves a qualitative research method, namely one-to-one semi-structured interviews. The participants, 23 male English-language teachers on the preparatory year programme (PYP) at a Saudi Arabian university, were found to value CPD as providing lifelong benefits. The findings also reveal that most of the teachers were aware of the importance of PD and the need for it. However, participants expressed general dissatisfaction that teachers’ voices were not listened to in connection with their CPD opportunities and that the planning of their own CPD did not adequately value their personal input, with inevitably negative consequences for their commitment and motivation. The study also identifies the existence of many barriers to satisfactory CPD provision for teachers, such as lack of autonomy, insufficient time after work to pursue CPD, workloads that are deemed to be excessive, unsupportive working conditions and inadequate provision of CPD activities that participants considered relevant. Teachers were found to experience CPD as being policed and top down within a wider culture of compliance at the university under study, leading them to feel professionally compromised and lacking in voice and autonomy. A major theme is the dominance of the needs of the university over those of individual teachers, reflected in the gap between the CPD provided and these individual needs as perceived by the teachers themselves. The study makes recommendations for improving the CPD experience of such teachers and concludes with the most significant implications for the context of study, at the institutional level, for the recruiting agencies, for the Ministry of Education and other governmental bodies, for the teachers themselves and for associations of teachers. A number of recommendations for CPD in general and within the Saudi setting are proposed, along with a number of steps to be taken by the PYP to help raise institutional awareness of successful CPD and to encourage teachers to engage with it more profitably.
Supervisor: Troudi, Salah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available