1. bookVolume 19 (2017): Issue 1 (June 2017)
Journal Details
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

Exploring Change in EFL Teachers’ Perceptions of Professional Development

Published Online: 16 Jun 2017
Page range: 22 - 42
Journal Details
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

Continuous professional development (CPD) is important for teachers in attaining sustainable education. Accordingly, exploring teachers’ perceptions could be a significant endeavor as teachers’ beliefs impact their classroom practices, thereby, impacting student learning and, thus have educational implications. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate this fundamental issue via establishing professional development workshops to train teachers in order to promote sustainable professional growth. It examined 86 EFL teachers’ beliefs and attitudes toward CPD before and after attending workshops for professional development. The data were collected through a questionnaire and a follow-up interview. Paired-samples t-tests were run to measure differences between responses of pre and post surveys. Moreover, raw frequencies and percentages were calculated in order to prioritize the items the teachers selected in each variable. The findings demonstrate that beliefs about CPD can change. Survey data collected before and after professional development workshops revealed a statistical significant shift in EFL teachers’ beliefs. This finding was also supported by semi-structured interviews. In addition, the results also revealed that the participants perceived customized professional development programs with professional development framework as a beneficial tool to be included in the professional development programs. The study may have some pedagogical implications to be utilized in the educational process directed at sustainable professional development.


Akbari, R., & Tajik, L. (2012). Second-language teachers’ moral knowledge base: A comparison between experienced and less experienced male and female practitioners. Journal of Moral Education, 41(1), 39-59.10.1080/03057240.2011.630384Search in Google Scholar

Besong, F., & Holland, C. (2015). The dispositions, abilities and behaviors (DAB) framework for profiling learners’ sustainability competencies in higher education. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 17(1), 5-22.10.1515/jtes-2015-0001Search in Google Scholar

Black, P., Harrison, C., Lee, C., Marshall, B., & Wiliam, D. (2003). Assessment for learning: putting it into practice. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language Teaching, 36, 81-109.10.1017/S0261444803001903Search in Google Scholar

Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain.Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3-15.10.3102/0013189X033008003Search in Google Scholar

Bransford, JD, Brown., AL, & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school, committee on developments in the science of learning, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington DC.Search in Google Scholar

Buczynski, S., & Hansen, C. B. (2010). Impact of professional development on teacher practice: Uncovering connections. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(3), 599-607.10.1016/j.tate.2009.09.006Search in Google Scholar

Chang, K., Jeon, Y., & Ahn, H. (2014). Investigating continuing professional development for teacher educators in South Korea: opportunities and constraints. In D. Hayes (ED.), Innovations in the continuing professional development of English language teachers (pp. 271-297). London, UK: British Council.Search in Google Scholar

Clark-Goff, K., & Eslami, Z. (2016). Exploring change in pre-service teachers’ beliefs about English language learning and teaching. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research 4(3), 21-36.Search in Google Scholar

Clarke, D., & Hollingsworth, H. (2002). Elaborating a model of teacher professional growth. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 947-967.10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00053-7Search in Google Scholar

Darling-Hammond, L., & Bransford, J. (2005). Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Search in Google Scholar

Day, C. (1999). Developing teachers: The challenges of lifelong learning. London: Falmer.Search in Google Scholar

Dean, J. (1991). Professional development in school. Milton Keynes, Philadelphia: Open University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Elmore, RE. (2002). Bridging the Gap between Standards and Achievement: The Imperative for Professional Development in Education, Albert Shanker Institute.Search in Google Scholar

Farhady, H., Sajadi, F., & Hedayati, H. (2010). Reflections on foreign language education in Iran. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 13(4), 1-18.Search in Google Scholar

Foord, D. (2009). The developing Teacher: practical activities for professional development. England: Delta Publication.Search in Google Scholar

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change. New York: Teachers College Press and Abingdon: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Gándara, P., J. Maxwell-Jolly, & A. Driscoll. (2005). Listening to teachers of English language learners: A survey of California teachers’ challenges, experiences, and professional development needs. Santa Cruz, CA: The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.Search in Google Scholar

Gao, X., & Ma, Q. (2011). Vocabulary learning and teaching beliefs of pre-service and in-service teachers in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Language Awareness, 20(4), 327-342.10.1080/09658416.2011.579977Search in Google Scholar

Gabriel, R., Day, J. P., & Allington, R. (2011). Exemplary teacher voices on their own development. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(8), 37-41.10.1177/003172171109200808Search in Google Scholar

Gholami, J., & Qurbanzada, I. (2016). Key stakeholders’ attitudes towards teacher education programs in TEFL: A case study of Farhangian University in Iran. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 18(2), 5-20.10.1515/jtes-2016-0011Search in Google Scholar

Gholami, J., Sarkhosh, M., & Abdi, H. (2016). An Exploration of Teaching Practices of Private, Public, and Public-Private EFL Teachers in Iran. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 18(1), 16-33.10.1515/jtes-2016-0002Search in Google Scholar

Guskey, T.R. (2000). Evaluating Professional development: Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc Hanushek, Eric A., 2010. ìGeneralizations about using value-added measures of teacher quality.î American Economic Review 100, no. 2 (May): 267-271.Search in Google Scholar

Guskey, T. R. (2002). Professional development and teacher change. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 8(3), 381-391.10.1080/135406002100000512Search in Google Scholar

Hargreaves, A., & Fink, D. (2003). Sustaining leadership. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(9), 63-700.10.1177/003172170308400910Search in Google Scholar

Hayward, L., & Hedge, N. (2005). Travelling towards change in assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 12(1), 55-76.Search in Google Scholar

Hung, H. T., & Yeh, H.C. (2013). Forming a change environment to encourage professional development through a teacher study group. Teaching and Teacher Education 36 (2013), 153-165.Search in Google Scholar

Jamshidi, A. H., Sadeghi, B. (2014). A comparative study of teacher education in Iran and the UK. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(5), 1153-1159.Search in Google Scholar

Jiang, Y. (2017). A study on professional development of teachers of English as a foreign language in institutions of higher education in Western China. Germany: Springer.Search in Google Scholar

Johnson, K. E. (1999). Understanding language teaching: Reasoning in action. Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishing Company.Search in Google Scholar

Johnson, K. E. (2009). Second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective. New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203878033Search in Google Scholar

Kagan, D. (1992). Implications of research on teacher belief. Educational Psychologist, (27), 65-90.10.1207/s15326985ep2701_6Search in Google Scholar

Kennedy, A. (2005). Models of Continuing Professional Development: A Framework for Analysis. Journal of In-service Education, 31(2), 235-50.10.1080/13674580500200277Search in Google Scholar

Knapp, M. (2003). Professional development as a policy pathway. Review of Research in Education, (27), 109-157.10.3102/0091732X027001109Search in Google Scholar

Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2005). The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (6th ed.). Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier.10.4324/9780080481913Search in Google Scholar

Kumba,W.L., & Nkumbi, E. (2008). Teacher professional development in Tanzania: Perceptions and practices. Journal of International Cooperation in Education, 11(3), 67-83.Search in Google Scholar

Leder, G., Pehkonen, E., & Tˆrner, G. (2002). Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics education? Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.10.1007/0-306-47958-3Search in Google Scholar

Levine, T. H., & A. S. Marcus (2010). How the Structure and Focus of Teachers’ Collaborative Activities Facilitate and Constrain Teacher Learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, (26), 389-398.10.1016/j.tate.2009.03.001Search in Google Scholar

Lier, K. (2002). Looking back: looking forward. Teacher Knowledge Project News, 4(1). 1-2.Search in Google Scholar

Loucks-Horsley, S., Stiles, K., & Hewson, P. (1996). Principles of effective professional development for mathematics and science education: A synthesis of standards. NISE Brief, 1(1), 1-6.Search in Google Scholar

Mann, S. (2005). The Language Teacher’s Development. Language Teaching, (38), 103-118.10.1017/S0261444805002867Search in Google Scholar

Nargesy, H. (2012). The evaluation of a teacher training system: A study on the efficacy of teaching training policy in the last three decades in the field of English Teaching in Iran. Life Science Journal, 9(4), 660-663.Search in Google Scholar

Ortega, J.L., & Fuentes, A. R. (2015). Communication skills training in trainee primary school teachers in Spain. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 17(1), 86-98.10.1515/jtes-2015-0007Search in Google Scholar

Padwad, A., & Dixit, K. (2011). Continuing professional development: An annotated bibliography. Delhi: British Council.Search in Google Scholar

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.10.3102/00346543062003307Search in Google Scholar

Peacock, M. (2001). Pre-service ESL teachers’ beliefs about second language learning: a longitudinal study. System, 29(2), 177-195.10.1016/S0346-251X(01)00010-0Search in Google Scholar

Pedder, D., & James, M. (2012). Professional learning as a condition for assessment for learning. In: J. Gardner (Ed.) Assessment and Learning, (pp. 33-48). London: Sage.Search in Google Scholar

Pedder, D., & Opfer, V.D. (2011). Are we realizing the full potential of teachers’ professional learning in schools in England? Policy issues and recommendations from a national study. Professional Development in Education 37(5), 741-758.10.1080/19415257.2011.614812Search in Google Scholar

Pipere, A., Veisson, M., & Salite, I. (2015). Developing research in teacher education for sustainability: UN DESD via the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 17(2), 5-43.10.1515/jtes-2015-0009Search in Google Scholar

Poskitt, J. (2005). Towards a model of New Zealand school-based teacher professional development. Teachers’ Work Journal 2(2), 136-151.Search in Google Scholar

Powell, E., Terrell, I., Furey, S., & Scott-Evans, A. (2003). Teachers’ perceptions of the impact of CPD: An institutional case study. Journal of In-service Education, 29(3), 389-404.10.1080/13674580300200282Search in Google Scholar

Rahimi, M., & Zhang, L.J. (2015). Exploring non-native English-speaking teachers’ cognitions about corrective feedback in teaching English oral communication. System, 55, 111-122.10.1016/j.system.2015.09.006Search in Google Scholar

Rhodes, C., & Beneicke, S. (2002). Coaching, Mentoring and Peer-networking: challenges for the management of teacher professional development in schools, Journal of Inservice Education, (28), 297-309.10.1080/13674580200200208Search in Google Scholar

Salīte, I. (2015). Searching for sustainability in teacher education and educational research: experiences from the Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium for educational research. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 6(1), 21-29.10.1515/dcse-2015-0002Search in Google Scholar

Shahmohammadi, N. (2012). Evaluation of Teachers’ Education Programs in Iran (Case Study) Journal of Educational and Social Research, 2(2).Search in Google Scholar

Smith, C., & Gillespie, M. (2007). Research on Professional Development and Teacher Change: Implications for Adult Basic Education. Retrieved from www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/ann_rev/smith-gillespie-07.pdfSearch in Google Scholar

Stronge, J. H, Thomas J. Ward, & Leslie W. Grant (2011). What makes good teachers good? A cross-case analysis of the connection between teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), 339-355.10.1177/0022487111404241Search in Google Scholar

Tang, E., Lee, J., & Chun, C. (2012). Development of teaching beliefs and the focus of change in the process of pre-service ESL teacher education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(5), 90-107.10.14221/ajte.2012v37n5.8Search in Google Scholar

Timperley, H.S. (2011). Realizing the power of professional learning. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Timperley, H. (2008). Teacher professional learning and development. In The Educational Practices Series. Jere, B. (Ed). International Academy of Education & International Bureau of Education: Brussels.Search in Google Scholar

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). (2005). Guidelines and recommendations for reorienting teacher education to address sustainability. Education for Sustainable Development in Action Technical Paper No. 2, UNESCO Education sector.Search in Google Scholar

Wharton, S. (2003). Defining appropriate criteria for the assessment of masters level TESOL assignments. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 28(6), 649-663.10.1080/0260293032000130261Search in Google Scholar

Whitcomb, J., H. Borko., & Liston, D. (2009). Growing talent: Promising professional development models and practices. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(3), 207-212.10.1177/0022487109337280Search in Google Scholar

Yadav, P. K., (2011). Blogging as a means of professional development for ELT professionals. Journal of NELTA, 16(1-2), 123-132.Search in Google Scholar

Yoo, J. H. (2016). The effect of professional development on teacher efficacy and teachers’ self-analysis of their efficacy change. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 18(1), 84-94.10.1515/jtes-2016-0007Search in Google Scholar

Zhang, L. J., & Rahimi, M. (2014). EFL learners’ anxiety level and their beliefs about corrective feedback in oral communication classes. System, (42), 429-439.10.1016/j.system.2014.01.012Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo