Exploring the Impacts of Doing Action Research on EFL Teachers’ Professional Identities from an Ecological Perspective
Keywords:action research (AR), AR, professional identities, teacher identity, researcher identity
Having been introduced to Vietnamese EFL teachers since 2008 in the milieu of the National Foreign Languages Project 2020, action research (AR) is still a novel area of inquiry in English language teacher education in Vietnam. This study explored how doing AR affected four EFL teachers' construction and reconstruction of their professional identities to contribute to this area. Data were collected from semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the teachers to unveil their teaching and AR experiences. Drawing on Weaver-Hightower’s (2008) ecological framework, the data were analyzed against four factors: actors, relationships, environments and structures, and processes woven into the three stages of AR (pre-research, while post-research). The results showed the influences of the complex nexus of these factors, with relationships and environments and structures standing out, on reconstructing the teachers’ teacher identity and constructing their researcher identity. The study provides implications for how to use AR as a way to promote the professional development of teaching staff.
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