Being a Young Learner English Language Teacher in a Polish Primary School- Professional Self- Construction In a Climate Of a Reform
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The study reported in the thesis sought to explore how semi- specialists TEYL teachers who have not received specialized TEYL training and did not graduate from public 3- years teachers’ training colleges construct their professional sense of self or professional identity) within the context of educational reform in Poland which has led to the lowering of the start age of English instruction the last to the first grade of primary school, as well as to the introduction of new child-friendly pedagogic practices. The study aimed to explore the following research questions: 1) What factors contribute to semi- specialists TEYL teachers’ feelings of em-powerment/ disempowerment in a context of educational reform in young learners’ classroom 2) What strategies do semi-specialist TEYL teachers use to feel empowered? 3) In what ways does participation in the online platform for teachers profes-sional development help teachers to feel empowered? The data were obtained through face to face semi- structured interviews with 5 semi- specialists TEYL teachers who are currently employed in public primary schools. The research conveyed the significance of macro (the politics of the Ministry of Education), meso (teachers’ autonomy in a classroom and collaboration in a school community), micro factors (teachers’ life histories). The teachers listed the following factors that shape their professional self in the context of the re-form: teachers’ initial experiences with TEYL, the status of TEYL as a profes-sion, the politics of the Ministry of Education, capacity for autonomy in a class-room, collaboration with others, supportive relationships with others, the role of platform. Some of these factors like the initial experiences with TEYL, the status of TEYL as a profession and the politics of the Ministry of Education are disem-powering for teachers’ professional self, while others like supportive relationships and the role of platform are more empowering.
EdD in TESOL