An investigation of student teacher development in pre-service English language teacher education in Malaysia

Sulaiman, Nor 'Ain binti (2019) An investigation of student teacher development in pre-service English language teacher education in Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Research suggests that many factors contribute to the formation of the student teachers’ reflective practice, including the nature of their teacher education, their experiences in a community of practice, and how they build their professional identity as adult learners. The purpose of this study is to investigate the significance and development of reflection and reflective skills for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) student teachers from a major teacher education institute in Malaysia. The research addressed three questions: To what extent do student teachers use reflection in their lessons? In what ways do their capacities for reflective practice develop over the practicum? What facilitating factors and barriers exist in the development of their reflective practice?
Adopting a purposive sampling approach, ten student teachers, three mentor teachers and a supervisor were selected. All of the student teachers were studying for a bachelor’s degree in TESL. They attended three phases of semi-structured interviews during the three months of their final practicum; the interviews took place after classroom observations every month. Mentor teachers and supervisors were also interviewed. Adopting an interpretivist approach, the weekly reflective diaries of the student teachers and the transcripts from the final phase of the post-observation interviews provided highly personal information from which vignettes of the participants were drawn.
Thematic analysis of the interview data revealed four significant issues affecting reflective practice: relational issues, such as how student teachers navigate issues arising within a community of practice; situational issues, for instance how they implement the curriculum; developmental issues, including how the quality of reflection may be judged; and experiential issues, which include how the student teachers construct their professional identities.
The findings support most of the existing literature and provide valuable insights into the significance of reflection for these novice teachers, the extent to which they master reflective skills in their practice, and the factors that influence reflection. However, further analysis and discussion revealed that whilst the student teachers’ use of reflection during their practicums is evident, the role and quality of this reflection is ambiguous. Similarly, whilst supervisors and mentor teachers may insist that reflection be actively encouraged, the rationale behind how and why it is used goes unexplored. The findings also highlighted the role that andragogy, communities of practice and experiential learning may play in partnership with reflection, serving to reconstruct reflective practice in teacher education. The study concludes by reviewing the implications of the research and putting forth ideas for further study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: student teachers education, reflective practice, practicum, Malaysia.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Odena, Dr. Oscar and Murphy, Dr. Mark
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: NOR'AIN SULAIMAN
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41058
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2022 08:57
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41058

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