ELT teachers working in underprivileged districts of Turkey and their perspective of continuous professional development opportunities

Tunaz M., Önem E. E.

International Journal of Human Sciences, vol.14, pp.2483-2494, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Human Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: EBSCO Education Source
  • Page Numbers: pp.2483-2494
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this research is to enquire the ELT teachers’ perspective of continuous professional development under restricted conditions they are obliged to teach English. Therefore, 20 EFL teachers who have been working at different state schools in the remote villages of southeast region of Turkey were selected as the participants of the inquiry. The data were collected in two different processes. First, all the teachers in the study were interviewed to answer the questions in the first part of the survey individually. Then, randomly selected 12 teachers were separated into two groups for online focus-group discussions, which were held in a semi-structured context by leading questions adapted from Brown (2013). Data collection processes were audio-recorded, and the qualitative data obtained from interviews and focus group discussions were coded and clustered to form specific themes. The results of the research revealed that teachers working in underprivileged districts of Turkey: (a) believe the crucial contribution of professional development activities for teacher quality and/or student achievement (b) have very limited opportunities and options for sustained professional development, and (c) think that the times allocated for professional development activities should be increased. Moreover, teachers these teachers (d) hope to take place in the planning phase of professional development activities, and (e) are dissatisfied with unfair financial situation. Upon the analysis of these items stated in the results, male teachers were found to focus on more general ideas compared to female teachers (item a and item b). On the other hand, the results indicated that female teachers focused on specific ideas statistically more often compared to male teachers (item c and item d). The teachers did not show statistical gender difference in terms of financial limitations (item e). The results of the research might be generalized to the similar contexts in other underprivileged districts, and similar researches might be conducted with teachers of other fields in order to reach results that are more generalizable.