The production and critical analysis of the provision of an electronic professional development course for high school English language teachers designed to be culturally and pedagogically empathetic

Kebble, Paul G. (2010) The production and critical analysis of the provision of an electronic professional development course for high school English language teachers designed to be culturally and pedagogically empathetic. Professional Doctorate (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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The access to appropriate professional development (PD) for English language (EL) teachers can be problematic; particularly in remote areas, where learning centres providing PD courses are inaccessible; and internationally, where culturally relevant PD is limited. An EL pedagogy PD course provided through the medium of information and communication technology (ICT) has the potential to offer EL teachers access to appropriate and relevant PD. An EL teaching PD course incorporating action research (AR) has the capability of allowing teachers to experiment with, reflect upon, and develop individual pedagogical notions and procedures from the presented course material. The AR process would allow for cultural diversity, hence enabling such a PD course to be culturally empathetic. This thesis investigates the provision of an online professional development course for English language teachers (, login: visitor, password: visitor48) designed by the researcher to be highly accessible and inter-culturally relevant. The research employed a qualitative single, holistic case study approach. The actors within the research were: the researcher; the course participant (CP), a practicing EL teacher in an international school in Fiji; the CP‟s head of department (HOD); and the course material. The course material consisted of five EL teaching methodology related modules. Each module included an introduction to the EL teaching methodology; a lesson plan demonstrating elements within that methodology; video of the lesson in practice; two or three current journal articles discussing the methodology, invariably from various cultural positions; and a ten question, multiple choice, multiple answer quiz. The methodologies introduced within the course were: 1) language corpora and the lexical approach, 2) grammar-based syllabi, a deductive, inductive or combined Approach, 3) task-based learning and pedagogical scaffolding, 4) multiple intelligences and language learning strategies, and 5) content-based instruction and a cross-curricula approach. Data was collected through a post-course questionnaire employing closed and open-ended questions, interviews with the course participant and the course participant's HOD utilising an open-ended questioning technique, and all online communication between the researcher and the CP or the CP's HOD. A thematic analysis was used to identify and inform research relevant themes, from which the CP's narrative was constructed. Documentation of all aspects of the research process, including experiences beyond the direct interaction with the CP, informed the researcher's narrative. Conclusions were drawn from the triangulation of the CP's narrative, the researcher's narrative and relevant literature. The online mode of delivery was shown to be appropriate and effective, although prerequisite ICT skills needed to be tested for, and in place, before beginning the course. This could be achieved by providing an ICT appropriate training course, and supplementary documentation, prior to course commencement. The implementation of AR within the course to provide cultural relevance and empathy was shown to be effective and valid.

Item ID: 39162
Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate (Research))
Keywords: cultural empathy; DE; distance education; distance learning; EL teachers; English teachers; ESL; JCT; online courses; PD; professional development
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 23:19
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130207 LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Maori) @ 100%
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Last 12 Months: 7
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