The importance of continuing professional development: an investigation into the needs of teachers at a Japanese University and an analysis of how continuing professional development meets their needs.

Brereton, Peter (2018) The importance of continuing professional development: an investigation into the needs of teachers at a Japanese University and an analysis of how continuing professional development meets their needs. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

There is wide acknowledgement of the importance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages industry, yet there is just as much agreement that the current state of CPD is largely inadequate and fails to meet the needs of its primary beneficiaries: teachers.

At the heart of this study is an Academic English Discussion programme at a private university in Tokyo. Two factors make this context particularly worthy of study: the strongly unified curriculum that teachers work within, and teachers’ five-year fixed-term contracts.

As such, this dissertation first seeks to investigate how these two factors affect the needs of teachers in this context, before analysing how the CPD programme meets the short-, medium-, and long-term needs of its teachers.

A mixed methods research approach was employed to explore current teachers’ perceptions of their CPD programme by way of questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, while semi-structured interviews with three former teachers as well as a focus group with the programme management team were also carried out.

The findings show that teachers working under a unified curriculum are more at risk of demotivation and burnout, and need individualised professional development to counter this risk. In addition, many teachers on fixed-term contracts suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety with regard to their future, and therefore need to maintain their employability through professional development. With regard to the CPD programme itself, while the training programme is highly effective at meeting the teachers’ short-term needs to carry out their teaching responsibilities, further training could be of benefit to teachers, particularly in terms of building reflective skills. In addition, more could be done to individualise aspects of teachers’ development and help them prepare for their long-term teaching careers.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 09:51
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 14:45
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/56166

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