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Instructors' reasons for participating in a professional development program and the nature of teacher interaction: a case study in a Turkish preparatory school

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2020
Dewan Türüdü, Aylin Selin.
The aim of this study was to explore teacher interaction in an in-house professional development (PD) program by examining the reasons instructors join the program and the perceived contributions of such a program. To this end, sociocultural discourse analysis (SCDA) was used to investigate different interactional features that lead to increased learning opportunities. The participants of the study were 14 teachers working at the English language school of a private university in Turkey. Data was collected through use of a needs analysis survey, interviews, observations, and video/audio recordings of PD sessions. The results of the interviews were analyzed on MAXQDA using content analysis according to Huberman and Miles’ qualitative data analysis approach. The professional development sessions were transcribed verbatim and analyzed through use of SCDA. The results of the study firstly revealed that instructors joined the PD program to learn from and with each other, to reflect on their teaching, and to be part of a community. Other factors that affected instructor decisions were mainly related to program design and who the group and trainers would be. When the contributions of the program were analyzed, it was found that instructors greatly benefited from the group environment. Both personal and teaching related changes were reported. The results of SCDA showed that trainers used interactional features to both initiate and maintain discussion with the most common features being extended wait time, revoicing, clarification requests and elaboration requests.