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The contribution of conferences to teachers’ professionalism

Rimmer, W. and Floyd, A. (2020) The contribution of conferences to teachers’ professionalism. TESL-EJ, 24 (1). ISSN 1072-4303

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Official URL: http://www.tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume24/e...

Abstract/Summary

While conferences have always been seen as an indicator of professional activity, very little is known in an ELT context regarding how teachers perceive these experiences as contributing to their sense of professionalism. The purpose of this article is to address this knowledge gap and to examine teachers’ perceptions and experiences of ELT conferences in order to determine the role which conferences play in professionalism. Based on the literature, a practice-based perceptual definition of professionalism is adopted and operationalized in this study as pertaining to the concepts of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Community and Professional Identity. Seventeen teachers who had attended face-to-face conferences were interviewed and the data analysed through content analysis. The results suggest that conferences have a valuable contribution to make to English teachers’ sense of professionalism because they offer a rich source of CPD, provide a strong sense of community and help develop their professional identity. This leads to acknowledgement of the special role which teaching associations play in conferences and advice on how, through their agency, the conference experience can be maximised. Recommendations are made for future studies, including the suggestion that online conferences be added to the research agenda.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:89066

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