The Perceptions of EFL instructors and administrators on teacher autonomy: a case study

Yıldırım, Tuğba
This case study aimed to explore the perceptions of EFL instructors and administrators working at tertiary level in regard to the concept of “teacher autonomy” and to investigate to what extent the instructors were perceived to possess autonomy in their work context and desired autonomy over six domains, namely curriculum, instruction, assessment, professional development, classroom management, and institutional operations. The study also sought administrators’ views on what the extent of teacher autonomy should be in each domain. For this purpose, an English preparatory program of a state university was chosen as the case and fifty Turkish EFL instructors and five administrators who worked at the program participated in the study. Data were gathered through questionnaires and semi-structured individual interviews. The results suggested that EFL instructors perceived to possess a low level of autonomy in general, but nevertheless, they desired to have a higher degree of autonomy in all domains. In addition, administrators’ views on the extent of teacher autonomy differed across the six domains. Whereas they believed that the instructors should have autonomy over professional development and classroom management, they did not support the idea of giving teachers autonomy over assessment and institutional operations. Moreover, the findings revealed that both instructors and administrators held the opinion that teacher autonomy is vital for teachers and an effective instruction. By identifying some constraints on teacher autonomy, the participants also offered some suggestions to help to promote it. Thus, the study has important implications for EFL instructors, administrators, and teacher educators.


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Citation Formats
T. Yıldırım, “The Perceptions of EFL instructors and administrators on teacher autonomy: a case study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.