A Cross-Cultural Study of Teacher Autonomy in Curriculum Development among Iranian and Turkish EFL Teachers

Author

Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University

Abstract

Teacher autonomy is viewed very differently: one teacher may view autonomy as a means to gain substantial freedom from interference or supervision; another may view it as the freedom to develop collegial relationships and accomplish tasks that extend beyond the classroom; and even some others may perceive it as a means for principals to avoid their duties (Frase and Sorenson, 1992). Although the concept was viewed as a unitary one in the past, it is recently decomposed into six distinct subcomponents: autonomy over curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, professional development, student discipline, and classroom environment (LaCoe, 2008). These six subcomponents of teacher autonomy provide a solid framework to understand the complex nature of teacher autonomy in the study. However, the study aimed at examining Iranian (N=71) and Turkish (N=48) high school EFL teachers’ opinions about teacher autonomy in curriculum development. The results revealed that there were slight differences between Iranian and Turkish teachers’ autonomy perceptions. They also indicated there were significant differences among teachers in considering their gender, age and academic level, while no significant relationship was found for their marital status.

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