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English Language teacher education: Facing challenges, forging connections* B. Kumaravadivelu Professor of TESOL / Applied Linguistics San José State University,

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Presentation on theme: "English Language teacher education: Facing challenges, forging connections* B. Kumaravadivelu Professor of TESOL / Applied Linguistics San José State University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 English Language teacher education: Facing challenges, forging connections* B. Kumaravadivelu Professor of TESOL / Applied Linguistics San José State University, California *Based on Kumaravadivelu, B. (2012). Language Teacher Education for a Global Society. New York: Routledge.

2 Global focus on education Globalization: economic, cultural, educational. Globalization & education – expanding, dialectical relationship. Global capital investment in local education. Consulting firms getting in (McKinsey & Co). Ivy Leagues rush to open overseas campuses. The International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes. A global think-tank aiming to become a dominant voice on educational issues.

3 Global focus on teacher education Transforming Teacher Education (Alliance 2008): Notwithstanding their origins, commonalities and differences, all systems of teacher preparation have to rethink their core assumptions and processes in the new global context (p. 14). Vision of teacher education in India. (Report 2012): …current teacher education programmes offer ritualistic exposure to fragmented knowledge which is neither linked to the larger aims of education and disciplinary knowledge, nor to the ground realities of classroom practice (p. 13). Both emphasize transformative teacher education.

4 Shifting assumptions (1) From a linear, discrete approach to cyclical, holistic approach. Discrete courses in language structures, learning theories, teaching methods, etc., ending with practice teaching. Student teachers fail to develop a holistic understanding. They are unable to see the pattern that connects.

5 Shifting assumptions (2) From transmission to transformation. Transmission models are information- oriented, not inquiry-oriented. Designed to transfer a pre-determined and pre- selected body of knowledge to teachers. Do not enable teachers to construct their own versions/visions of teaching.

6 Shifting assumptions (3) From method to postmethod. Transmission models and the concept of method are both top-down exercises. Postmethod pedagogy (Kumaravadivelu 1994, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008). Needed: not an alternative method but an alternative to method. Being/becoming strategic thinkers, strategic teachers & strategic explorers.

7 Are we ready for the challenge? Education and teacher education are social institutions that pose moral, ethical, social, philosophical, and ideological questions. … There are not likely to be good answers to the most important questions about teacher preparation unless they are driven by sophisticated theoretical frameworks … (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005, p. 2).

8 Accumulated entities Impressive work in ELT (via Education): teacher voice (Bailey & Nunan 1998), teacher research (Freeman 1999), teacher freedom (Brumfit 2001), teacher narrative (Johnson & Golembek 2002), teacher coherence (Clarke 2003), teacher values (Johnston 2003), teacher experience (Senior 2007), teacher cognition (Borg 2007), teacher philosophy (Crookes 2009), teacher reflection (Edge 2011), teacher emotions (Benesch 2012), etc. Disjoined knowledge does not constitute a cogent framework.

9 Need a comprehensive model Michel Serres (2004, p. 2): A cartload of bricks is not a house; we want a principle, a system, an integration.

10 Operating principles

11 Particularity Hermeneutic principle of situational understanding. All pedagogy, like all politics, is local. Language teaching and teacher education must be sensitive to a particular group of teachers teaching a particular group of learners pursuing a particular set of goals within a particular institutional context embedded in a particular socio-cultural milieu (Kumaravadivelu, 2001, p. 538).

12 Practicality Dichotomy between theory and practice. Theorists produce knowledge, teachers consume knowledge. Leaves only a narrow room for teacher self-conceptualization and self- determination. Teachers must be enabled to develop the knowledge, skill, attitude, & autonomy necessary to construct their own context-sensitive theory of practice.

13 Possibility Drawn from critical pedagogy (Freire). Sensitivity to historical, political, social and cultural factors shaping education/nation. Teachers must become aware both of the socio- cultural reality that shapes their lives and of their capacity to transform that reality (van Manen, 1997, p. 222). Language teachers cannot afford to separate learners linguistic needs and wants from their socio-cultural needs and wants (Kumaravadivelu,1999, p. 472).

14 Demands on teacher education The new operating principles demand that tr. ed. must be designed to help teachers focus … … more on the acceleration of agency than on the acceptance of authority; … more on the active production of personal knowledge than on the passive application of received wisdom; and … more on mastering the teaching model than on modeling the master teacher.

15 The KARDS model Modular in nature. Consists of five modules: Knowing, Analyzing, Recognizing, Doing, and Seeing.

16 About Knowing Knowing: the personal participation of the knower in all acts of understanding (Polanyi, 1958, p. vii). Entails a passionate contribution of the person knowing what is being known (p. viii). More than a subjective judgment; demands intellectual commitment and inquiry. Dialectical relationship between awareness and action, between theory and practice.

17 Module: Knowing

18 Professional knowledge Received wisdom – Facts, theories, concepts; externally produced. Language: as system, as discourse, as ideology. Learning: input, intake factors & intake processes. Teaching: input modification and interactional modification. Sources: Pre/in-service programs, books, journals, conferences, etc.

19 Procedural knowledge Management skills and strategies for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating classroom events and activities. Topic management and talk management. Individual work, pair work, and group work. Dealing with diversity in the classroom: languages, cultures, learning styles.

20 Personal knowledge If professional knowledge is the collective enterprise of the expert, personal knowledge is the individual endeavor of the teacher. Observations, experiences, reflections, and interpretations gathered over a period of time. Unexplained and unexplainable understanding of what constitutes good teaching: Teachers sense of plausibility (Prabhu) Teachers sense-making (van Manen) Shaped and reshaped by continual recreation of personal meaning (Diamond).

21 Module: Analyzing

22 Learner Needs Global society/economy demand new competencies in language, communication and intercultural relations. Needs analysis done by policy makers, institutions, and employers. Teachers can play a supplementary role: questionnaires, interviews, observations. Can understand learner motivation better.

23 Learner motivation Integrative vs instrumental motivation. Current theories are inadequate because of cultural globalization, and World Englishes. English is now seen more as a communicational tool than as a cultural carrier. English language learners are now driven by the idea of global citizenship that is firmly rooted in local identities (Lamb, 2004). Motivation is now being reconceptualized & retheorised to address changing realities (Ushioda & Dörnyei, 2009).

24 Learner autonomy Redefine learner autonomy for a global society. Information technology has created awareness in learners. They can play an active role in topic/talk selection. Learner-selected materials from social media as texts. Differentiate academic autonomy from liberatory autonomy. Language development vs personal empowerment. …while academic autonomy enables learners to be strategic practitioners in order to realize their learning potential, liberatory autonomy empowers them to be critical thinkers in order to realize their human potential (Kumaravadivelu, 2003, p. 141).

25 Module: Recognizing

26 Teacher identities Teacher activity is connected to teacher identity (Verghese, Morgan & Johnson; Clarke; Lin; Garton). Teacher ID shapes teachers perceptions about what constitutes teaching, and learning. Teacher ID - not a ready-made package that can be passed on. A journey before, during and after formal education. An on-going, never-ending process of being and becoming. Teachers exercise their agency even amidst rigid state- sponsored educational policies and practices. Teacher education must help teachers become aware of their subject-positions, & of the possibilities & strategies for personal/ and professional identity transformation.

27 Teacher beliefs Beliefs are propositions that individuals feel to be true; may not stand rigorous scrutiny. Teacher knowledge is filtered through teacher beliefs. Beliefs guide them in selecting and organizing knowledge and information presented to students, and in interpreting classroom events and activities. Teacher education must help teachers to analyze their beliefs, and to critically reflect on them. Beliefs can be analyzed through teacher narratives (Clandinin & Connelly), autobiographical reflections (Robison).

28 Teacher values Values are beliefs with a moral and ethical slant. A teacher is a moral agent (Dewey/Gandhi/Aurobindo). English language teaching is imbued with values and moral meaning (Johnston 2003, p. x). Added burden: as a global language carrying global flows. Teachers face dilemmas and conflicts in dealing with agendas pursued by political and religious entities, or by administrators and students. Care theory offers a powerful approach to ethics and moral education in this age of globalization (Noddings, 2010, p. 390). Strategies for striking a balance between the ethics of care and the ethics of rules.

29 Module: Doing

30 Teaching Language teacher as a transformative intellectual (Giroux). Teaching with twin goals: maximizing learning opportunities, and mentoring personal transformation. Creating the conditions necessary for desired linguistic competence to develop in as short a time as possible. Language teaching is much more than teaching language. Exploiting linguistic resources to give meaning to the lived experiences of the learner. Teachers must be able to reckon with the fundamental transformations of consciousness, experience, and identity that are central to the shift to the historical condition of globality (De Lissovoy, 2009, p. 191).

31 Theorizing Teachers theorize when there is action in their thought and thought in their action (van Manen). Pedagogic knowledge must emerge from the practice of everyday teaching. It is the practicing teacher who is better placed to produce, understand and apply that kind of knowledge. (Kumaravadivelu, 1999, p. 35). No grand projects are required. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and notice what works and what doesn't, with what group of learners, for what reason, and think about what actionable changes are necessary and possible. A matter of learning from the classroom. Exploratory research (Allwright), action research (Burns), teacher research (Edge), critical classroom discourse analysis (Kumaravadivelu).

32 Dialogizing Dialogic interaction between meanings, between belief systems leading to "a responsive understanding" (Bakhtin, 1981, p. 424). Teacher development is a dialogic construction of meaning out of which teacher identity or teacher voice may emerge. A community of teachers is a community of inquiry (Wells, 1999). Teachers show a willingness to wonder, to ask questions, to seek to understand by collaborating with others in the attempt to make answers to them and to engage in the discourse of knowledge building (Wells, 1999, p. 121).

33 Module: Seeing

34 Teacher perspective Seeing is critically-mediated between knowing and doing, forging new connections between conceptual knowledge and perceptual knowledge. Teachers have to see what happens in the classroom because the classroom determines the extent to which learning potential is realized, and desired outcome is achieved. Teachers are best suited to provide descriptions of their work, their thinking behind it, and their interpretations of it. Their perspectives should emerge from self-observation, self- analysis, and self-evaluation of their teaching acts, done in a systematic and sustained fashion.

35 Learner perspective Learners have a role in evaluating teaching acts. Stake-holders of the classroom enterprise. Bring a unique interpretation of what is helpful, and what is not. Can provide valuable feedback, on an on-going basis. The more we gather learner feedback, the better and more productive our intervention will be.

36 Observer perspective Ensures collaboration among interested colleagues. Meaningful, rewarding, non-threatening feedback aimed at professional development. The goal is to examine philosophical orientation, and teaching performance. Teachers see their work in new and critical ways, and engage in self-reflection. No one is marginalized; no one is privileged. Potential for mutual enrichment.

37 The KARDS model

38 Salient features Responsive to the demands of a global society. Founded on particularity, practicality & possibility. Erected on the structure of interconnected modules. Independent: modules stand alone with specific goals. Interdependent: each shapes/is shaped by the other. Works in a synergic relationship where the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Has multiple entry points and multiple exit points. No more than a conceptual framework; local players have to construct context-sensitive programs.

39 The desirable & the doable There is a pattern in the history of knowledge production. Innovation starts with the desirable; we try make it doable. The path of innovation in education is no different. Transmission models do not produce transformative teachers. Teacher educators must create the conditions necessary for teachers to know, to analyze, to recognize, to do and to see what constitutes learning, teaching, and teacher development. Teachers must develop the capability necessary to theorize from what they practice and practice what they theorize. Requires constant and continual learning by both.

40 Keep the lamp burning A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn with its own flame. Rabindranath Tagore ( )

41 English Language teacher education: Facing challenges, forging connections* B. Kumaravadivelu Professor of TESOL / Applied Linguistics San José State University, California *Based on Kumaravadivelu, B. (2012). Language Teacher Education for a Global Society. New York: Routledge.

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