Continuing Professional Development and English as Foreign Language Teachers’ Needs
In educational settings, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) refers to the process of pursuing and documenting the experience, skills and knowledge that teachers gain both formally and informally, beyond the initial training. Through CPD teachers are involved in a process of recording and reflecting on their learning and development. This record of what teachers learn, experience and then apply, usually signifies as a kind of portfolio documenting, lesson study and conference participating, etc. These programs are considered to be important because they ensure us, as teachers, continue to be competent in our profession. Therefore, the present study aims at investigating the CPD needs of Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers. To this aim, after surfing and reviewing the literature, the researchers came up with fifteen CPD areas that EFL teachers might need in order to progress. Two hundred and fifty EFL teachers were asked to state the extent to which they wish to participant in these 15 CPD programs. “21st Century Skills”, “Teaching in a multicultural setting” and “Collaborative Teaching” were shown to be placed in the first three rows of teachers’ needs which indicated Iranian teachers are most willing to learn about 21st Century Skills, Teaching in a multicultural setting and Team Teaching, programs and strategies that have not commonly been represented in the Iranian context and teachers have not been usually exposed to. Moreover, the results showed that in some of these CPD areas, females teachers were significantly more willing to participate.
Keywords - Continuing Professional Development, Teacher Development, Teacher Training, Teachers’ Needs.