Teacher educators play a crucial role in the education of teachers as they assist student teachers to develop skills and competence. However,little is known about the qualities of teacher educators,especially in the context of English teacher education in Indonesia. The present study aims to address the paucity of research in this field by determining the characteristics believed to ensure effective English teacher educators (ETEs),establishing teaching strategies that are effective,considering the challenges faced by ETEs as they seek to be effective,and identifying strategies for improving ETE’s effectiveness. To achieve these aims,a mixed-methods sequential exploratory approach was employed. The research considered the perceptions of three different groups,namely ETEs,in-service and pre-service English teachers. Data was obtained from 39 interviews and 540 subsequently completed closed questionnaires. The qualitative findings showed that the characteristics of effective ETEs fell into four basic themes,namely Personal Competence,Pedagogical Skills,Interpersonal Skills and Subject Matter Knowledge. The quantitative findings showed that each of the three groups participating in this study attached different levels of importance to these four themes. For effective teaching strategies,two types of strategies were explored: inside and outside the classroom. For effective teaching strategies inside the classroom,the qualitative findings revealed three themes: (1) Diverse Approaches to Classroom Teaching,(2) Learner Autonomy,and (3) Authentic and Engaging Learning. The quantitative findings showed that each participating group had somewhat different views. For effective teaching strategies outside the classroom,the qualitative findings revealed two themes,namely (1) Collaborative and Participative Learning and (2) Students’ Independence in Learning. The quantitative findings revealed that each participating group rated the second set of strategies as being more important than the first. In terms of the challenges ETEs encounter,the qualitative findings revealed two dominant themes on this matter: (1) Supporting Resources and (2) Teaching Environment. The quantitative findings showed that the participants acknowledged a high level of agreement regarding all the challenges identified in the qualitative findings. For strategies to improve ETEs’ effectiveness,three types were explored: ETEs’ personal initiatives,institutional support and government support. The qualitative findings revealed specific themes for each. In regard to ETEs’ personal initiatives,the qualitative findings revealed three themes,namely (1) Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi (Three Obligations of Higher Education),(2) Personal Capacity Building,and (3) Networking and Sharing. In regard to institutional support,the qualitative findings revealed three themes: (1) Funding and Facilities,(2) Collaboration,and (3) Evaluation. For government support,the qualitative findings revealed three themes,namely (1) Funding,(2) Professional Development and Partnerships Programs,and (3) Policy. The quantitative findings showed that participants acknowledged that the strategies identified in the qualitative findings were important for improving their effectiveness. This study contributes to the growing understanding of the qualities that make ETEs effective. The findings might also be useful as a starting point for establishing a standard of competence for ETEs in the Indonesian context and other similar contexts. The results of this study highlighted the importance of applying teaching strategies,both inside and outside the classroom. Applying the two types of strategy is essential to,for example,compensate for the status of English as a foreign language in Indonesia and the low level of exposure to English the students have. The findings about ETEs’ challenges contribute to identifying the areas where improvement is needed. The findings emphasise that most challenges are beyond ETEs’ control. Hence,collaboration among ETEs,the teaching/learning institutions,and the government is viewed as a potential approach to solve some of the challenges and improve ETEs’ effectiveness.
|Date of Award||1 Jan 2017|