"I'm not a traditional teacher anymore" : Ecuadoran teacher perspectives regarding a US professional development program
Cappaert, Gail Boone
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In this dissertation, the retrospective perspectives of five Ecuadoran English teachers regarding their experience in a seven-month professional development program in the US were investigated. Attention was given to how they believed the program impacted their identity, self-efficacy and how they perceived the program functioned as a community of practice (CoP). Data were collected through interviews using stimulated recall based on classrooms observation notes and memos in the teacher participants' Ecuadoran schools. Findings included that the Ecuadoran teachers felt they were positively impacted by the program. They perceived themselves as more legitimate speakers of English and more effective educators; however, there were areas in which they believed the program did not meet their needs. The five teachers perceived that the program was frequently not contextualized for the Ecuadoran system of education. Additionally, none of the five teacher participants believed that there was a collective CoP; however, four of the five teacher initiated small communities of practice, which they felt were significant in their success in the program. Once back in their Ecuadoran schools, these five teachers created small CoP with their colleagues and in their classrooms. The fifth Ecuadoran teacher believed that his Kichwa identity was not understood within the context of the program and that this inhibited his inclusion into any community.