The impact of qualification programs on EFL teachers’ professional and personal development: teachers’ voices

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(1)Running head: IMPACT OF THE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS ON EFL PUBLIC TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.. The Impact of Qualification Programs on EFL Teachers’ Professional and Personal Development: Teachers’ Voices. Ángela Andrea Romero Mendoza. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas School of Science and Education Master in Applied Linguistics to the Teaching of English Bogotá, Colombia 2017..

(2) IMPACT OF THE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS ON EFL PUBLIC TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.. The Impact of Qualification Programs on EFL Teachers’ Professional and Personal Development: Teachers’ Voices. Angela Andrea Romero Mendoza. Thesis Director: Clelia Pineda Báez (PhD) A thesis submitted as a requirement to obtain the degree of M.A. in Applied Linguistics to the Teaching of English. Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas School of Science and Education Master in Applied Linguistics to the Teaching of English Bogotá, Colombia 2017.

(3) IMPACT OF THE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS ON EFL PUBLIC TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.. Note of Acceptance Thesis Director: ________________________________ Clelia Pineda Baéz (PhD) Juror: ________________________________ Juror: ________________________________.

(4) IMPACT OF THE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS ON EFL PUBLIC TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.. Acuerdo 19 de 1988 del Consejo Superior Universitario Artículo 177: “La Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas no será responsable por las ideas expuestas en esta tesis”..

(5) IMPACT OF THE QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS ON EFL PUBLIC TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.. Acknowledgements. First of all, I would like to express my gratitude and love to the magnanimous energy that makes everything possible in my life and makes me feel sure that God exists. My gratitude is also to my wonderful mom, my beautiful son and his father, the man who was with me during this arduous but meaningful and enriching journey. They suffered my absence and lack of time which made me get stronger to give my best in every single aspect of my life. My special acknowledgements to my dear director Dr. Clelia Pineda, such a wonderful and lovely woman who guided me throughout this long process. I want to say thank you as well to Dr. Harold Castañeda who was always supporting me in many different ways. Last, but not least, I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who was involved in this study: directors of the programs who opened their doors to my research; the teachers- participants and my interviewees, all of them made this possible..

(6) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers. 6. Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... 11 Resumen........................................................................................................................................ 12 Chapter 1 .................................................................................... ¡Error! Marcador no definido.3 Introduction … .............................................................................................................................. 13 Statement of the problem ........................................................... ¡Error! Marcador no definido.5 Research questions ....................................................................................................................... 18 Research objectives ...................................................................................................................... 18 Rationale ....................................................................................................................................... 19 Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework .............................................................................................. 21 Teachers’ Professional Development and Impact on Students’ Achievement…………………..21 Teachers Knowledge Base…………………………………………………...…………………..31 Teachers’ Welfare………………………………………………………………………………..40 Chapter 3: Research Design .......................................................................................................... 45 Type of study ................................................................................................................................ 45 Context .......................................................................................................................................... 46 Participants.................................................................................................................................... 47 Data collection Instruments .......................................................................................................... 48 Questionnaire ................................................................................................................................ 48 Semi-structured interviews ........................................................................................................... 52.

(7) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 7. Validation of Instruments………………………………………………………………………..53 Researcher’s Role and Ethical Issues……………………………………………………………54 Chapter 4 ....................................................................................................................................... 56 Data analysis ................................................................................................................................. 56 Data management.......................................................................................................................... 56 Data analysis framework............................................................................................................... 57 Findings ........................................................................................................................................ 60 Demographic information. ............................................................................................................ 61 The qualification programs: Opportunities for growth…….…………………………………….63 Lack of collegiality in schools ...................................................................................................... 82 Technology and Pedagogy: areas that deserve attention………………………………………...89 The role of research in fostering reflection………………………………………………………93 Teachers’ welfare as an aspect that requires attention……………………………………….…..98 The need to create and strengthen social networks…………………….……………………….101 Improving teachers conditions for other personal dimensions. .. ¡Error! Marcador no definido.7 Chapter 5 ..................................................................................................................................... 111 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................. 111 Limitations .................................................................................................................................. 119 Further research .......................................................................................................................... 120.

(8) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 8. References .................................................................................................................................. 121. Table of Appendices Appendix A: Categories for the questionnaire for teachers ........................................................ 133 Appendix B: Teachers’ Questionnaire ....................................................................................... 140 Appendix C: Teachers’ Interview .............................................................................................. 143 Appendix D: Consent Form for Directors and Coordinators of the Programs ........................... 145. List of Figures Figure 1. Knowledge base dimensions......................................................................................... 33 Figure 2 .Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ……………………………………………………........ 42 Figure 3. Number of female and male interviewees …………………………………………… 61 Figure 4. Interviewees’ ages ………………………………………………………………….... 61 Figure 5. Degree obtained before entering the current program ……………………………….. 62 Figure 6. Localities of Bogotá where participants work ……………………………………….. 62 Figure 7. Participants’ view on the impact on the Content Knowledge dimension ……………. 68 Figure 8. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in classroom management and environment ………………………………………………………………………….………… 71.

(9) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 9. Figure 9. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in Content Presentation and Organization and Methodologies with students from different ages …………………….…….. 72 Figure 10. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in connection with student rapport, feedback, assessment and evaluation ……………………………………………………..……. 74 Figure 11. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in their repertoire of methodologies to teach and strategies for interaction and collaborative work ……………………………..….. 77 Figure 12. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs to select, adapt and create materials …….79. Figure 13. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflecting and knowing about local policies ……………………………………………………………………………...……. 81 Figure 14. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on curricular knowledge and integration of EFL with other subjects ………………………………………………….……... 82 Figure 15. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the role of the physical and psychological characteristics of the learner, expertise of students’ cognitive processes and processes involved in language learning and acquisition ………………………….…………... 85 Figure 16. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the receptiveness to students’ context and adaptation of methodologies, strategies and material according to students’ characteristics and context ………………………………………………………………..……. 88 Figure 17. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the aspects which compose the TPACK model ……………………………………………………………………………...….. 90 Figure 18. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflect upon teaching practices, expertise in examining the context, opportunities to innovate in the classes, and familiarity to carry out research proposals …………………………..……………………………..…………. 94.

(10) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 10. Figure 19. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their basic needs (psychological needs) and safety needs …………………………………………………………………..…….. 99 Figure 20. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their social needs ………….101 Figure 21. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their Esteem Needs …….....103 Figure 22. Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their self-actualization needs…...…. .106. List of Tables Table 1. Categories, description and characteristics of Shulman's and Maslow’s models………50. List of Graphs Graph 1. Visual Display of the emergent categories…………………………………….………60.

(11) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 11. Abstract. The government of Colombia has implemented programs aimed at qualifying public school teachers, as part of the policies to improve the quality of national education . This mixed study analyzes areas of concern for EFL teachers in public schools in Bogotá who participated in local government sponsored post-graduate programs and the impact of the qualification programs on their professional and personal development. Sixty-nine teachers responded a questionnaire of 41 questions and seven teachers participated in interviews based on the tenets of Shulman’s Knowledge Base Teaching Model (1987, 2013) and Maslow’s Theory of Human Needs (1943, 1954, 1971). These instruments aimed to explore their experience and perspectives regarding the impact of the qualification programs. The findings indicate that the teachers involved were driven by a genuine desire to energize and improve their daily practices and, further, that the programs helped them to reflect and respond to the particularities of their respective contexts and to gain confidence and recognition as researchers. The results highlight the importance of professional development opportunities for teachers and the role of collaborative work. Nevertheless, the findings raise questions about the continuity and sustainability of such programs.. Key words: qualification programs, teachers’ personal development, professional development, empowerment, knowledge base, welfare..

(12) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 12. Resumen El gobierno de Colombia ha venido implementando programas de cualificación docente con el objetivo de mejorar las prácticas de los docentes que trabajan en el sector público. Los programas de cualificación docente son parte de las políticas de gobierno para mejorar la calidad de la educación en la nación. Este estudio mixto analiza las áreas de interés para los profesores de inglés de los colegios públicos de Bogotá que participaron en programas de posgrado patrocinados por la Secretaría de Educación Distrital y el impacto de dichos programas en su desarrollo profesional y personal. Sesenta y nueve docentes respondieron un cuestionario de 41 preguntas y siete de ellos a una entrevista basados en los principios del Modelo de Conocimiento Base para la Enseñanza de Shulman (1987, 2013) y la Teoría de las Necesidades Humanas de Maslow (1943, 1954, 1971). Dichos instrumentos fueron usados con el fin de explorar las experiencias y percepciones del impacto de estos programas en los docentes de inglés. Los hallazgos indican que los docentes se guiaron o se impulsaron por un deseo de energizar y mejorar su práctica y que los programas los ayudaron a reflexionar y responder a las particularidades de sus contextos, además de ganar confianza y reconocimiento como investigadores. Los resultados resaltan la importancia de las oportunidades de desarrollo profesional para los docentes, el rol del trabajo colaborativo y emergen preguntas acerca de la continuidad y sostenibilidad de los programas.. Palabras clave: programas de cualificación, desarrollo personal, desarrollo profesional, empoderamiento, conocimiento base para la enseñanza, bienestar..

(13) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 13. Chapter 1 Introduction. Quality of education has long been an important concern for governments and their policies. Thus, policymakers have aimed to achieve higher quality in education by training and qualifying teachers; training at this level can have ripple effect through students’ learning and achievement. In order to fulfill this aim, government investment and sponsorships of qualification programs for teachers has become more common in countries where there is a perceived need to improve their education and economy. This trend has been visible in some nations which have improved their education and economic systems, as demonstrated by marked advances in international exam performance over the span of less than a decade. All of these countries have in common the importance and efforts they have assigned to the qualification of teachers through the provision of continuous teacher development programs to achieve a high quality education (García, et al., 2014). Nevertheless, teachers’ professional development is not the only factor to consider in order to guarantee higher quality in schools. For example, another important consideration for success is student achievement. Some researchers have noted that the combination of teacher training and teacher’s welfare are decisive factors in impacting student education.. More. specifically, Connor et al., (2005) found that teachers’ qualifications and high income were strongly correlated with stronger student achievement..

(14) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 14. Both professional development and personal development are important considerations for teachers, and given the power they have to affect education quality, it is important to investigate and analyze teacher needs, desires and concerns about qualification programs in order to guide policymakers, governmental programs and universities as to teachers’ motivations to carry out master programs and what needs these programs must address. This study aims to report on how EFL public school teachers perceive the impact of the qualification program sponsored by the local government of Bogota, in terms of both their professional and personal development. The first chapter includes the statement of the problem, research questions and objectives, and the rationale for the study. The second chapter offers a literature review which discusses the main constructs that support this work. Chapter three provides an account of the research design for this study, including the study type, context, and participants involved, alongside a description of the data collection instruments, methods and procedures. Chapter four details the procedures for data management and analysis, and the findings of this research. Finally, chapter five presents the conclusions of the study, its limitations and suggestions for further research. The following sections will outline contextual factors, the governmental program in which this study is framed, the issues observed, and theoretical considerations that gave rise to this study..

(15) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 15. Statement of the Problem. Government policies and programs are important for countries, cities, political action plans and education goals. They aim to guide people’s actions and address areas that need special attention. In the case of Bogotá, while serving a 4-year term, the mayor is accountable for implementing. and. $131,000,000.000.00. leading COP (SED,. policies.. Recently,. the. local. government. allocated. 2013, p. 72) – to fund education processes as part of the 2012-. 2016 Bogota Development Plan. This budget sought to improve the education of students in the city and to qualify teachers working in public schools. The money allocated by the Secretaría de Educación Distrital (SED) for teacher qualification aimed to address motivational issues and at the same time to challenge the traditional teaching methods that prevail in the public schools of Bogotá. Further, the training was designed to offer teachers sufficient opportunities to respond to the contexts and needs of students in the public sector (SED, 2012c). The project proposed by the SED was called: Project 894: Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training and focused on three components: Teacher welfare, qualification, and empowerment (Plan Sectorial de Educación - SED, 2013, p. 61). The program intended to empower teachers to foster their intellectual independence, to strengthen their role as education professionals and to enable them to participate actively in administrative decisions regarding education in the city. The aim of this project was to improve working conditions for public school teachers by qualifying them, so that, they could transform their teaching practices and, simultaneously,. increase their chances to move up the professional ladder. The plan.

(16) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 16. designed by policymakers targeted teachers with highest population concentration of students in the city – 59.3% of the total of school-age population (SED, 2012b, p. 64). The Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training plan was designed to offer more dignity to the teaching profession by stimulating their leadership and social recognition. It focused on qualifying and acknowledging teachers’ work in their social circles. Some researchers (García et al., 2014), have noted that the combination of teacher training and welfare are decisive aspects if the goal is to impact students’ education. More specifically, Connor et al., (2005) found that teachers’ qualifications and high income were important components leading to stronger student achievement. The plan included a financial incentive, in which the local government paid 70% of tuition fees for teachers participating in postgraduate programs (including specializations, master's and doctoral degrees) offered by sixteen accredited universities, in alliance with the Secretaría de Educación Distrital (SED, 2013). The involvement of teachers in those programs would help them to face modern educational challenges and to reflect upon the cultural and social diversity in their classrooms. In addition, the program would encourage them to reflect and discuss the influence of media and technology on students’ and teachers’ lives and to reaffirm their sense of citizenship. A total of 9,000 public school teachers from different academic areas has been qualified during the 2012-2016 period (SED, 2012a). The latest official report of the project (SED, 2013) indicated that there were 2,071 teachers carrying out postgraduate studies and that 326 out of the teachers were further registered in both mother and foreign languages related programs (SED, 2013, p. 19). This high number of languages teachers is directly related to national policies.

(17) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 17. which aim to create a bilingual nation and to enrich students’ opportunities to use a second language, in this case English. Taking into account that the population selected for this study are EFL teachers, it is important to mention that one of the main concerns of the languages teachers of the country is to improve their language proficiency (González, 2003) and to learn more about the content they teach, and as such respond positively to training that is content-specific (Giraldo, 2013). Giraldo (2013) carried out a study with EFL teachers and found that professional development programs do have a positive impact on in-service teachers, their classroom performance, and on students. According to this author, if the programs are embedded in “local suggestions, teachers’ needs, knowledge, skills, and experiences, [...] there is a strong likelihood of positive results” (p. 75). The expected return of the great financial investment from the city government in the training and qualification of public school teachers is an improved quality of education and a simultaneous advance in the living conditions of the teachers themselves. . These topics deserve special attention. Given these aims, in a study of such policies’ impacts, it is indispensable to examine their effects on both students and teachers as previous researchers have inquired into in other countries (Blank, R & de las Alas, N (2009); Blank, R. & de las Alas, N., & Smith, C. (2008); Darling-Hammond, L. (2000a); Guskey, T. & Sparks, D. (2004); RAND Corporation. (2013)). This study intends to address the second of the groups identified above: it aims to report on how public school English teachers in Bogota perceive the impact of the local government’s training and qualification programs in terms of both their professional and personal dimensions..

(18) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 18. This project seeks to delve into the experiences of EFL public school teachers’ experience in the programs sponsored by the Secretaría de Educación Distrital to qualify their practices. The results of this study will provide data to examine the impact the policies about qualification and training have on teachers’ professional and personal development. Thus, the questions that guide this inquiry are:. Research questions ●. What are the areas of concern for EFL public school teachers who participate in the. postgraduate programs sponsored by the Secretaría de Educación Distrital? ●. How has the participation of EFL public school teachers in these programs influenced. their professional development, from their own perspective? ●. How has the experience in the postgraduate programs impacted their personal. development from teachers’ perspectives?. Research objectives Considering Teacher Qualification and Welfare, the aims of this project are: General Objective: ●. To examine teachers’ perceptions regarding the impact of the qualification programs on. their professional and personal development. Specific Objectives: ●. To identify the areas of concern that teachers are trying to confront as they participate in the programs;.

(19) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. ●. 19. To specify the likely impact of these qualification programs on teachers’ professional. development; ●. To examine teachers’ experience when participating in these qualification programs from their voices regarding their personal development.. Rationale Education has become the biggest challenge for the Colombian government. During the last eight years, the country has been ranked in the lowest position of international standardized tests: in the case of PISA tests (Program for International Student Assessment), for example, Colombia obtained the lowest results, and ranked lowest of the 44 participating countries. As a result, the government of Bogotá, which has the highest population of students registered in public education (approximately 1,000,000 students according to. SED,. 2013), has implemented. strategies aimed at fundamentally improving the quality of education. During the last decade, countries like the United States, Singapore, Finland, Canada and South Korea have experienced changes both in their educational policies and in their results in international exams. These countries exemplify the importance assigned to the training and qualification of teachers and to the goal of providing them with continuous teacher development programs to reach higher levels of professional qualification (García et al., 2014). Considering the direct connection between teacher qualification levels and quality in education, this study seeks to document the impact of Colombian government policies on these two aspects. The project could provide key data for all the participating universities developing programs in.

(20) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 20. alliance with the Secretaría de Educación Distrital, regarding teachers and public education needs in the city. The project also provides valuable data from teachers themselves. Although the impact of a qualification program must be examined in the transformation of pedagogical practices in the classroom and in the changes in student achievement and success, it is also important to give teachers a voice and highlight, from their perspective, how the qualification has transformed their professional and personal lives. The project opens up spaces for examining the impact of the high local government investment and for identifying areas for improvement..

(21) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 21. Chapter 2 Theoretical Framework. This chapter presents a synthesis of the main constructs guiding this project. Namely, they are the professional development of public school teachers and its impact on students’ achievement, teachers’ content knowledge according to Shulman’s theory, and teachers’ personal needs and welfare. It is important to mention that many of these same topics s oriented the city project that is used as a framework for this study, more concretely: Project 894: Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training (SED, 2013). This program seeks to train and qualify teachers as well as to provide them with the necessary conditions to improve teachers’ practices, and to positively impact the quality of education in Bogotá. In order to address the objectives of this study, it is important to define the aforementioned constructs.. Teachers’ Professional Development and Impact on Students’ Achievement. In education, professional development can be promoted through a variety of courses, including seminars, workshops, trainings, and specialized studies among others, intended to help directors, teachers, and other educators improve their professional knowledge, competency, skill, and effectiveness. To analyze the issue of professional development, it is crucial to discuss the term ‘training’ and what it implies. Freeman (1989) defines training as the learning of discrete teaching items. In a training program, the collaborator (or tutor) is in charge of teaching these discrete stratagems to teachers so that they improve teaching skills such as presenting vocabulary, responding to student.

(22) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 22. answers, and others. In contrast, Freeman states that development is concerned with helping teachers to develop constant awareness of their experiences as professionals. Taking into account this author’s ideas, training is focus on content and development is focus on how to implement the content in teachers’ practices The terms teacher education, teacher preparation or pre-service training have been applied to the formal academic training that teachers have in their undergraduate programs (Johnson, 2002). The term teacher training, or more specifically in-service training, has been used to define the academic actions taken by the teachers in pursuit of professional development. González (2003, p. 154) states that “the meaning of in-service training stage implies that the preservice phase may not have been sufficient and that teachers themselves require some support and assistance while helping their students in the learning process”. This author’s definition of professional development stands in direct opposition to Freeman’s (1989, p. 40), who proposes that professional development is: “A strategy of influence and indirect intervention that works on complex, integrated aspects of teaching; these aspects are idiosyncratic and individual. The purpose of development is for the teacher to generate change through increasing or shifting awareness”. From the latter perspective, professional development programs are opportunities for teachers to improve their practices and generate positive changes in student achievement. The British Council (Borg, 2015) offers a succinct definition for teachers’ professional development and how it differentiates from training. They claim that moving from ‘training’ to ‘development’ implies professional growth, which is not simply a process of trainers telling instructors what to do. Rather, professional development is a more dynamic process in which.

(23) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 23. instructors are expected to take some responsibility for their own learning. As was stated above, professional development implies to pass from the theory to practice and be aware if this practice is carrying out positively or negatively in the classrooms in order to generate an action plan. Taking into account the definitions above, it is important to reflect on the effectiveness and quality of the professional development strategies received by teachers. In a study carried out by Darling-Hammond et al. (2009) in U.S.A, most of the teachers who participated in professional development courses reported that they were not useful because most development happens in a workshop-style model, which research has shown that has little or no impact on student’s learning and on teacher’s practice. Other studies (OECD, 2009), have measured the impact of professional development for teachers in countries around the world and they have given insight into what teachers consider effective forms of development. Teachers from 16 countries reported that “individual and collaborative research”, “informal dialogue to improve teaching”, and “qualification programs”, have a moderate or large impact on their development as a teacher. The development of activities that were reported to be relatively less effective were: attendance at “education conferences and seminars” and taking part in “observation visits to other schools” (OECD, 2009, p. 79). The negative view many teachers have towards professional development has been studied and limitations of this view have been identified through research. . Mora et al. (2013, p.11) stated that some teachers do not believe professional development is meaningful because the programs are created for policy makers “who see teachers as isolated entities and ignores the fact that they are part of a “micro-cosmos” called school, which is immersed in a more complex “cosmos,” named society”. According to these authors, policy makers or people with higher.

(24) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 24. authority in an educational setting such as ministries of education, school districts, or individual schools provide their teachers with opportunities to participate in activities in which teachers receive prescriptive guidance on what to do and what not to do, without a necessary consideration of the context, and of teacher and student needs. In contrast to these traditional perspectives, professional development is now typically conceptualized in the literature as dynamic, ongoing, continuous, and set in teachers’ daily lives (Birman et al., 2000; Boyle et al., 2005; Desimone, 2009; Guskey, 2000; Hofman & Dijkstra, 2010; Sato, Wei & Darling-Hammond, 2008). Here professional development is cast as “embedded in the classroom context and constructed through experience and practice, in sustained, iterative cycles of goal setting, planning, practicing, and reflecting” (Caena, 2011, p.11), which also should provide opportunities to inquire systematically about teaching practices, their impact on students and about other issues of teachers’ work. Regarding Colombian educational settings and characteristics, Giraldo (2013, p.11) proposes professional development programs in which program developers take into account the suggestions given by scholars in the field, “provided that these programs consider teachers’ needs, knowledge, skills, and experiences, there is a strong likelihood of positive results”. A study made by Fundación Compartir (García et al., 2014) in Colombia reveals that high quality professional development programs for teachers have an impact not only on education but also on national economic development. The authors based their conclusions on previous international studies (Barro, 1991; Mankiw, Romer and Weil, 1992; Gennaioli et. al, 2013; RAND Corporation, 2013; Greenwald, Hedges and Laine, 1996)..

(25) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 25. These studies are grounded in evidences from four countries (Singapore, Finland, Canada and South Korea), which have demonstrated a significant changes in both educational and economic performance, thanks to the adjustments that they did in their education models. In these countries, governments took into account six main dimensions in order to guarantee quality in education: high quality undergraduate programs, high quality recruitment process, in-service teachers’ professional development programs, promote teaching as a profession with high status, very good remuneration for teachers, and continuous evaluation (García et al., 2014). The previous study was carried out as a basis for Colombian policymakers in order to develop programs based on teachers’ needs both as professionals and as human beings. This perspective, which sees teachers as a whole in which their personality and needs are vital considerations in order to respond to student needs and learning is shared by some EFL Colombian researchers (González, 2007; Álvarez, 2009; Bonilla, L. & Galvis L.A., 2011; Caicedo, 2008; Giraldo, 2013; Calvo, G., Rendón, D.,& Rojas, L.; 2004; Usma, 2009). According to Giraldo (2013, p.2), the professional development of English language teachers in Colombia has progressed from a transmission-oriented approach to one in which their realities are catered to. Scholars in the field of professional development and teacher education agree that these programs should respond to teachers’ needs, be based upon their close realities, and account for teachers as learners of their teaching. Furthermore, instead of top-down approaches in which experts “impose” models and recipes on teachers, authors urge context-sensitive models (González, 2007) that reflect teachers’ decision-making and experience..

(26) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 26. Thus, the field of English language teaching has come to understand professional development not as the idea of an accumulation of skills but as a highly critical and iterative process. Authors such as Villegas-Reimers (2003), Díaz-Maggioli (2004), and Wilde (2010) agree that these programs must engage teachers in reflective and collaborative work; they must also include teachers’ skills, knowledge, and experience. Giraldo (2013, p.2) further claims that “professional development programs should provide teachers with opportunities to develop their professional practice and receive feedback on it”. In this framework, teachers are conceived of as learners. Within this understanding of professional development, there is an expectation that not only teachers’ professional and personal lives will be impacted, but that students’ achievement and furthermore, on the education and development of the country will show subsequent improvements. As such, professional development plays a key role for both teachers themselves and their qualification programs, inasmuch as it covers a wide range of crucial factors concerning the teaching practice of in-service teachers as well as student learning and achievement processes. Regarding the experience of countries such as Singapore, Finland, Canada and South Korea, which have improved their education and economic systems and have demonstrated positive results in less than a decade, it is noteworthy that all of these countries have in common the importance they have assigned to the qualification of teachers and to providing them with continuously teachers’ development programs in order to have a high quality education (García et al., 2014)..

(27) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 27. According to Yoon and colleagues (2007, p.11) professional development affects student achievement through three steps: First, professional development enhances teacher knowledge and skills. Second, better knowledge and skills improve classroom teaching. Third, improved teaching raises student achievement. If one link is weak or missing, better student learning cannot be expected. If a teacher fails to apply new ideas from professional development to classroom instruction, for example, students will not benefit from the teacher’s professional development.. The authors mentioned above agree on the importance of teacher preparation and qualification programs. Connor et al. (2005) affirm that there is accumulating research evidence that teachers’ credentials, experience, and years of education may make a difference in children’s success; although more evidence is needed to show the direct impact teachers have on students levels of achievement and success. Prior to this publication, Kennedy (1998) carried out one of the first reviews of research on the relationship of quality of teacher preparation to subsequent student achievement. At that time, she identified a relatively small number of research studies that drew a direct link between the level of teacher preparation in their teaching field and achievement of students. Darling-Hammond (1999) analyzed a large-scale research across the U.S. and her results showed that in-field teacher preparation correlated positively with student achievement. The author’s findings resulted in extensive policy and research debate in the United States. Blank and de las Alas (2009) claim that the debate still continues in the USA, because of the importance of.

(28) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 28. formal teacher preparation and qualifications, including teacher certification in order to fulfill the government education programs that this country currently has for the sector of public education. Darling-Hammond carried out further studies, which contributed to a body of research on which aspects determine academic success for students and influenced the establishment of qualification programs as a government policy in USA. The author found that there were many factors that connect to children’s achievement and among them, teacher capacity to teach effectively was among the most significant variable (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002; Darling-Hammond, 2000a). Recent policies in the United States have identified teacher qualifications as an important component leading to stronger student achievement. There is evidence that better trained and more experienced teachers tend to get students of greater ability and with fewer discipline problems (Clotfelter et al., 2005, Feng, 2005). Taking into account that quality teachers are seen as the ones who have more credentials or preparation, some authors have sought to define quality teaching, which is composed by different factors and not only for teachers’ qualification. Berliner (2005) states that quality teachers are seen simply as good teachers and are considered to be those who exhibit desirable traits and uphold the standards and norms of the profession. Beyond this interpretation, however, quality teachers are also considered those who bring about student learning. In fact, some studies have identified teacher qualifications as an important component leading to stronger student achievement, although the research regarding the correlation between teacher qualifications and student outcomes, historically, has been somewhat equivocal and any effects have been small (Coleman, et al., 1966; Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002; DOE,.

(29) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 29. 2002). Nevertheless, many studies relate teacher qualifications directly to children’s outcomes and treat classroom practice like a black box. As Cohen, Raudenbush, and Ball (2003) affirm, providing resources such as highly qualified teachers is important, but will not necessarily assure effective use of these resources. According to the latter studies, there are many others factors in the classroom which should be taken into account in considering student achievement, Some studies (Cohen & Hill, 2000; Fishman, Marx, Best, & Tal, 2003; Garet et al., 2001; Guskey & Sparks, 2004; Kennedy, 1998; Loucks-Horsley & Matsumoto, 1999), assume that professional development’s effects on student achievement are mediated by teacher knowledge and practice in the classroom and that professional development takes place in the context of high standards, challenging curricula, system-wide accountability, and high-stakes assessments. Although teachers’ qualification is a key factor in students’ achievement, it is important to have other changes in the educational setting in order to guarantee student success. Colombia, and in particular Bogotá, has endeavored to create an educational policy that helps to improve students’ results in standardized international tests and takes into consideration the fundamental role that teachers play in those results. With regards to the creation of policies, some researchers consider that scholars and policymakers now face the challenge of identifying observable characteristics of teachers that signal quality teaching. With the growing demand for evidence-based policymaking, student achievement is considered an accurate measure of teacher effectiveness and has become a basis for value-added teacher assessment systems and a demand for teachers’ qualification programs.

(30) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 30. (González, 2007; Braun, 2005; McCaffrey, Lockwood, Koretz, Louis, & Hamilton, 2004; Sanders, 2000; Sanders & Rivers, 1996). Cochran & Smith (2001) outlined three relationships between teacher qualifications and long-term student learning outcomes: teacher preparation in subject matter and in pedagogy, years of teaching experience, and their ongoing professional development. For the authors, these combined factors ensure students’ outcomes and learning is interpreted as the gains made by students on achievement tests. Other studies (Connor, Morrison, Katch, 2004a; Connor, Morrison, & Petrella, 2004b; Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 2000; Wharton-McDonald, Pressley, & Hampston, 1998), acknowledge that professional development is extremely important on students’ achievement, but posit that other teacher characteristics should also be taken into account. Teachers who spend more time in academic activities tend to have students who demonstrate greater gains, for example in reading skills. Broadly speaking, converging evidence then points to at least three important dimensions of teaching that influence student literacy acquisition directly or indirectly: (1) the classroom environment teachers create, (2) teacher warmth and responsiveness to their students, and (3) the amount and type of instruction they provide (Morrison et al., 2005). Accordingly, one might interpret that teacher training can have a significant, positive impact on student achievement under generally favorable conditions, but considering the previous experiences and research in other countries, especially in the U.S.A, that such benefits depend both on the context and quality of the program and on a series of teachers’ characteristics and experience..

(31) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 31. When studies have directly examined teachers’ knowledge of both subject matter and how to teach, they have found that knowing how to teach also has strong effects on student achievement. In fact, such studies show that knowledge of teaching and pedagogical strategies is as important as knowledge of the content (Begle, 1979; Monk, 1994; Wenglinsky, 2000 as cited in Gulamhussein, 2013). Research also shows (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003) that beyond verbal skills, subject matter knowledge and academic ability, teachers’ professional knowledge and experience are also key determinants in student learning. Many other characteristics also matter for good teaching such as enthusiasm, flexibility, perseverance, and concern for children, among others. Further, specific teaching practices such as knowing how to instruct, manage and assess diverse students, strong verbal ability, and knowledge of effective methods for teaching that subject matter make a difference for learning (Good & Brophy, 1995). All the factors mentioned in the previous paragraph are central topics that Shulman (1987, 2013) takes into account in his proposed model of Teacher Knowledge Base and which is one of the main constructs of this study.. Teachers Knowledge Base For a long time, the formulation of a knowledge base was seen as the command and knowledge of basic skills such as direct instruction, time on task, and classroom management among others. In order to teach effectively, the teachers’ competency in their subject matter area and the use of pedagogical skills were also important aspects for this interpretation of teachers’ knowledge base..

(32) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 32. Nevertheless, the elements which constitute a knowledge base have long been debated by scholars. Pineda (2002) remarks that it is important to clarify such a definition, because policy makers tend to consider teacher performance in a classroom rather than teacher knowledge of the content and the way teachers make this knowledge easily accessible to their students. Shulman (1987, 2013) argues that the resulting standards or mandates lack any reference to the dimensions of teaching concerned with content. Similarly, even within the research community, the importance of content has been eclipsed by other factors. According to this author, this limited conception of knowledge base leads to the production of research and qualifications programs which treat teaching more or less generically, or at least as if the content of instruction were relatively unimportant. The model of Teacher Knowledge Base that Shulman proposed in 1987 highlights the importance of the teachers’ knowledge of the content of the subject itself, as well the pedagogical domain, strategies and knowledge of the teachers to manage their classes and to understand their students’ needs. This theory distinguishes six dimensions or domains to explain what really knowledge base is. Figure 1 shows the dimensions proposed by Shulman (1987, 2013) in his model of Teacher Knowledge Base:.

(33) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 33. Figure 1. Knowledge base dimensions (Taken from Pineda, 2002, p. 10).. According to Shulman (1987, 2013) these six dimensions combined offer a definition of knowledge base. He proposes that a connection between each of the dimensions is key in order to have a complete and broad definition of teachers’ knowledge base. The Content Knowledge Dimension (CK) is the knowledge and domain that teachers have of the subject matter they are teaching. General Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) includes the principles, strategies, and set of practices that are usually related to methodology, classroom management, motivation, and decision-making. Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) emerges when the aforementioned dimensions are combined and teachers can connect what they know (content) with the pedagogical principles into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented,.

(34) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 34. and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and then presented as instructions which make the content comprehensive for learners. “That special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding” (Shulman, 1987, p.8) Curricular Knowledge is what should be taught to a particular group of students. It requires an understanding of student learning potential, national syllabuses, school planning documents, and year group plans. In addition, any examination or testing syllabuses must be taken into account alongside any local or contextual requirements. Pineda (2002, p.11) defines Knowledge of the Learner through the, “besides the physical and psychological characteristics of the learners, educators should include knowledge about students’ cognitive processes. This is knowledge about how children, adolescents and adults learn”. The Knowledge of Educational Goals and their Philosophical Bases dimension suggests that teachers must go beyond the context of their classrooms and examine the expectation of the society in which they and their students are embedded in order to respond to the challenges of this context. During the beginning of twentieth century and with the widespread of the use of technology in education, another important area was considered as complementary to Shulman’s dimensions of knowledge base; namely, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). This category was added by Koehler & Mishra (2009), and is defined as: the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of students’ prior.

(35) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 35. knowledge; and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge or to strengthen the old one (p.1029).. TPACK has been developed over time and through a series of publications, with the most complete descriptions of the framework found in Mishra and Koehler (2006, 2009). In their model, there are three main components of teachers' knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. Equally important to the model are the interactions between and among these bodies of knowledge, represented as PCK (pedagogical content knowledge), TCK (technological content knowledge), TPK (technological pedagogical knowledge), and TPACK (technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge). In other words, TPACK offers guidance on how teachers can use technology in teaching content while remaining up to date and avoiding their practices entering obsolescence. With regards to Shulman’s claim to the policy makers, all of these dimensions are a determinant factor when implementing teacher qualification programs and evaluations. Furthermore, Pineda (2002) affirms that these categories are also important for teachers when they seek out knowledge acquisition and training to improve the quality of their practice and seek continued professional growth. In the EFL field there is limited research about knowledge base of FL teachers (Bernhardt & Hammadou, 1987; Hammadou, 1993; Velez- Rendón, 2002). There are some studies about the impact of reflective practices on pre-service second language teachers focus on teacher knowledge base development (Antonek, McCormick, & Donato, 1997; Kwo, 1996; Mok, 1994) and other studies posit that the most relevant concern is teachers’ years of experience and the.

(36) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 36. connection of this experience to knowledge base (Dadlez, 1998; Reeves & Kazelskis, 1985; Smith & Sanche, 1992; Turley, 2002; Watzke, 2003). In some studies, there is evidence that aspects included in Shulman’s dimensions are positively correlated with student outcomes (NICHD-ECCRN, 2002a, b; Pianta, Paro, Payne, Cox, & Bradley, 2002). For example, research has demonstrated relations between student outcomes and classroom variables such as teachers’ praise, quantity and pacing of instruction, and teachers’ expectations (Brophy & Good, 1986; Fraser, 1987; Stockard & Mayberry, 1992). Further, teachers’ abilities to manage and control student learning and behaviour in the classroom is also a predictor student achievement (Brophy & Good, 1986). Moreover, other studies deal with teacher reflections regarding their students, their responsiveness to student questions and interests, and the emotional climate of the classroom, all of which have been related to student achievement (Connor, Morrison, & Katch, 2004a; Connor, Morrison, & Petrella, 2004b; Green et al., 1992; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Torgesen et al., 1999). Regarding all the factors which comprise Shulman’s dimensions and the evidence that many such factors are strongly related to the impact in student achievement, it is extremely important to consider this framework when policy makers establish programs and evaluations. The dimensions are also important considerations for the training and qualification programs that teachers carry out, because the impact of these programs on teacher practice will affect not only teachers but also students. Research shows that such evidence-based approaches are vital, as teachers change their underlying beliefs about how to teach something only after they see.

(37) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 37. success with students; indeed, when teachers do not see success, they tend to abandon the practice and revert to their comfort zone (Guskey, 2000). Taking these considerations into account, qualification programs for teachers should focus on both content and pedagogical knowledge, which should be contextualized according to the specific needs of the location and community where the programs are developed. Further, Gulamhussein (2013) discusses 9 different experimental research studies of teacher professional development with a focus on teachers’ knowledge base, and the findings show that programs of greater duration were positively associated with teacher change and improvements in student learning. She affirms: “several studies, for instance, have shown that professional development that addresses discipline-specific concepts and skills has been shown to both improve teacher practice, as well as student learning.” (p. 14). As well as the length of the program, the theme and emphasis of the program also has an impact on teacher practices. As a finding of her research, Kennedy (1998, p.18) concludes: “programs whose content focused mainly on teachers’ behaviors demonstrated smaller influences on student learning than did programs whose content focused on teachers’ knowledge of the subject, on the curriculum, or on how students learn the subject”. In the local context, González (2003) asserts that in Colombia, the role of many universities in the education of teachers is limited to the offer of graduate programs. The dual aims of these programs are the professionalization of teachers and their training as researchers. According to this author, this focus does not adequately address the needs of all Colombian English teachers..

(38) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 38. Narrowing the proposal of EFL post-degree programs in Colombia, in, the Secretaría de Educación Distrital (SED) formed a partnership with sixteen metropolitan universities to offer qualification programs for in-service teachers. These universities should offer high quality programs - Programas de Formación Permanente de Docentes - PFPD (SED, 2013, p. 8- 15) designed to specifically address the pedagogical concerns and necessities of public schools. This strategy aims to tackle all the relevant aspects that are essential to attain high educational quality. One of the main concerns expressed by the languages teachers selected for this study is their foreign language proficiency (González, 2003) and a desire to learn more about the content they teach, as demonstrated by the positive responses they gave for training that is content-specific (Giraldo, 2013). These aspects are important for EFL public school teachers in the Colombian context. They are directly linked to the efforts currently made by the Ministry of National Education (MEN) through the National Bilingual Program as the expected result is that “theory and practice in professional development programs have a reciprocal relationship, which can have a positive impact on teachers and their practice.” (Giraldo, 2013, p. 75). González (2007) explain the process the government carried out to assess and qualify English teachers. She states that the Ministry of National Education conducted an assessment project to diagnose the English language proficiency of students and EFL public school teachers in Bogotá and Cundinamarca in 2003 and 2004. These showed a very low level of language proficiency for high school students, placing the majority at CEFR A1 level (Cely, 2007 as cited in González, 2007)..

(39) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 39. González (2007, p. 163) affirms that the results “motivated the government to diagnose the proficiency of English teachers on a wider scale […]”. Hernández (2007, p. 33) indicates that “a correlation between students and teachers’ performance was found. For this reason, the government decided to promote the improvement of teachers’ pedagogical competences”. As a result, and in connection with the National Bilingual Program (MEN, 2004), many EFL teachers, especially those in public schools, are looking for programs which provide them with the opportunity not only to improve their content and pedagogical knowledge, but also their language proficiency. In line with the theories presented above, public teachers and government officials are making an effort to create, generate, and participate in qualifications programs that help both teachers and students, while taking into account a professional development model focused on teachers’ knowledge base. In addition, EFL public school teachers in Colombia face a challenge insofar that the government expects positive results in connection with the existing national bilingual policies. Although, professional development and domain of knowledge base dimensions have a demonstrated connection with students’ achievement; some researchers have found that another important concern for teachers is their personal well-being, regardless of qualification programs. Evens et al. (2015) states that a safe and comfortable workplace as well as contact with colleagues and status is beneficial for teachers’ PCK development, which eventually will have an impact on students’ performance and results. As such, it is noteworthy that the public program in which this study is framed deals with teachers’ personal development and welfare, which is an important area of concern of teachers and it, is the other construct of this study..

(40) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 40. Teachers’ Welfare. Another important factor dealt with by Project 894: Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training (SED, 2013) is that of teacher welfare. The city government has considered strategies such as improving teachers’ working conditions, accelerating teachers’ retirement process, offering different health, recreation and welfare programs, and offering incentives to outstanding performing teachers that include prizes, money benefits and community recognition (SED, 2013). Experiences around the world have shown that payment and working conditions are key elements in the empowerment of teachers and in assuring educational quality (García et al., 2014). Darling-Hammond & Sykes (2003) found that the money factor is undoubtedly of great importance, and draw evidence from states and localities that have implemented successful policies directed at improving salaries, benefits and working conditions. Another key teacher concern with regards to their professional development is the financial cost associated with the programs and the resources available to fund them. González (2003, p. 162) affirms that a drawback for teachers to join in-service qualification programs is “the high cost of graduate tuition fees”. To mitigate this issue, Project 894: Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training establishes that the city government will finance 70% of tuition costs, while teachers pay for the remaining 30% (SED, 2013, p. 11). Financial considerations represent one of the incentives through which the project aimed to improve teacher welfare and create social networks, which is a considerable issue for teachers. González (2003, p. 167) mentions that “there is special emphasis on teachers’ experience and the.

(41) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 41. contact with many well-prepared teacher educators in EFL settings willing to help colleague teachers”. With regards to teacher welfare and sharing experiences, González, Montoya and Sierra (2002, p. 32) affirm that “for EFL teachers, professional development programs represent a way to fulfill their highest needs and to transcend their daily routines of teaching. They look for alternatives that promote group work and involve the community of teachers to achieve the goals proposed.” This last aspect highlighted by Gonzales and colleagues (2002) is connected to human needs as a fundamental factor when thinking about teacher welfare. Maslow (1943) defined a theory in which all humans are framed under some “human needs” which can be arranged according to their importance in a hierarchy often represented as a pyramid. Needs located at the bottom of the pyramid must be satisfied before higher needs. The basic needs refer to those areas in which life is assured. Higher needs refer to psychological issues that are required for our welfare. Figure 2 represents Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in which he classified them from the basic to the more complex ones:.

(42) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 42. Figure 2. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (taken from González, Montoya & Sierra 2002, p. 31). In connection to the welfare factor that Project 894: Empowered Teachers with Better Welfare and Better Training is trying to fulfill, aspects like money, social networking, social recognition and teachers’ empowerment are also reflected in Maslow’s theory of human needs. According to Maslow, at the physiological level humans require survival elements like air, water, and food. The safety needs include the demand for consistency, rules, and security of a home or family. In the belonging level, which is also called love level or belongingness, a central concern is the desire of belonging to groups and feeling accepted. The esteem needs refer to the desire to be recognized by others as skillful or competent and feeling good about it. The top of the pyramid includes the self-actualization or selfrealization needs which refer to the desire to realize one’s full human potential and become who one really wants to be. According to Maslow, only some individuals achieve this level and become leaders in their groups. They are inspired, in most cases, by the feeling of helping others and looking to improve their own welfare..

(43) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 43. González, Montoya and Sierra (2002, p. 32) state, “teachers’ desiring to participate in professional development programs may be considered as a way to satisfy their self-actualization needs”. The aforementioned authors assert that when teachers get involved in activities that promote the expansion of their academic and personal horizons is usually presented as the main motivation to seek professional development opportunities. Furthermore, the needs of EFL teachers are placed in three domains: the teacher as worker, the teacher as instructor, and the teacher as learner. Under the first domain are placed all teachers’ needs regarding working conditions and rights. The curricular domain deals with the teachers’ desire to improve their knowledge over the subject matter as well as the methodologies to better teach their classes. Professional development, the third domain, includes teacher needs to acquire and develop skills to become independent learners, access research skills, and work on humanistic approaches to more holistic education. (González, Montoya & Sierra 2002) Educational programs of countries that are leading in the latest standardized international tests employ strategies such as professional development programs and teacher welfare. . As the experience of these countries has shown, aspects such as investment in education, preservice and in-service training, salary, social recognition, among others, are essential for changes in education (García et al., 2014). As shown in this document and various literature reviews (Broad & Evans, 2006; Timperley, Wilson, Barrar & Fung 2008, Borg, 2015), the characteristics of teacher qualification and professional development programs should be contextualized since contexts will always vary. The British Council (Borg, 2015) states that there are no universal templates for success..

(44) The Impact of Qualification Programs on the Professional and Personal Development of EFL Public School Teachers.. 44. There is an emerging consensus that professional development ‘works’ better when it covers the needs of teachers, their involvement in decisions about content and process, teacher collaboration, support from the school leadership, exploration and reflection with attention to both practices and beliefs, internal and/or external support for teachers, a valuing of teachers’ experience and knowledge, as well as importance of being immersed in research projects in which teachers are seen as knowledge generators. However, as international research increasingly argues, “an education system is only as good as its teachers” (UNESCO, 2014, 9). Teachers are increasingly recognized as the single most influential factor on student learning. In order to achieve his/her professional and personal development, it is important that programs and policies consider not only the academic aspect, but also the teacher as a whole and as a professional who should satisfy different personal needs..

Figure

Figure 1. Knowledge base dimensions (Taken from Pineda, 2002, p. 10).

Figure 1.

Knowledge base dimensions (Taken from Pineda, 2002, p. 10). p.33
Figure 2. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (taken from González, Montoya & Sierra 2002, p

Figure 2.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (taken from González, Montoya & Sierra 2002, p p.42
Table 1. Categories, description and characteristics of Shulman's and Maslow’s models

Table 1.

Categories, description and characteristics of Shulman's and Maslow’s models p.52
Figure 4.  Interviewees’ ages

Figure 4.

Interviewees’ ages p.61
Figure 3.  Number of female and male interviewees

Figure 3.

Number of female and male interviewees p.61
Figure 6.  Localities of Bogotá where participants work

Figure 6.

Localities of Bogotá where participants work p.62
Figure 5.  Degree obtained before entering the current program.

Figure 5.

Degree obtained before entering the current program. p.62
Figure 7.  Participants’ view on the impact on the Content Knowledge dimension.

Figure 7.

Participants’ view on the impact on the Content Knowledge dimension. p.68
Figure 8.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in classroom management and environment

Figure 8.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in classroom management and environment p.71
Figure 9.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in Content Presentation and Organization and  Methodologies with students from different ages

Figure 9.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in Content Presentation and Organization and Methodologies with students from different ages p.72
Figure 10.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in connection with student rapport, feedback,  assessment and evaluation

Figure 10.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in connection with student rapport, feedback, assessment and evaluation p.74
Figure 11.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in their repertoire of methodologies to teach  and strategies for interaction and collaborative work.

Figure 11.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs in their repertoire of methodologies to teach and strategies for interaction and collaborative work. p.77
Figure 12.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs to select, adapt and create materials

Figure 12.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs to select, adapt and create materials p.79
Figure 13.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflecting and knowing about local policies

Figure 13.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflecting and knowing about local policies p.81
Figure 14.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on curricular knowledge and   integration of EFL with other subjects

Figure 14.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on curricular knowledge and integration of EFL with other subjects p.82
Figure 15.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the role of the physical and psychological  characteristics of the learner, expertise of students’ cognitive processes and processes involved in language

Figure 15.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the role of the physical and psychological characteristics of the learner, expertise of students’ cognitive processes and processes involved in language p.85
Figure  16.  Participants’  view  on  the  impact  of  their  programs  on  the  receptiveness  to  students’  context  and  adaptation of methodologies, strategies and material according to students’ characteristics and context

Figure 16.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the receptiveness to students’ context and adaptation of methodologies, strategies and material according to students’ characteristics and context p.88
Figure 17.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the aspects which compose the TPACK  model

Figure 17.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on the aspects which compose the TPACK model p.90
Figure 18.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflect upon teaching practices, expertise in  examining the context, opportunities to innovate in the classes, and familiarity to carry out research proposals

Figure 18.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on reflect upon teaching practices, expertise in examining the context, opportunities to innovate in the classes, and familiarity to carry out research proposals p.94
Figure 20.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their social needs

Figure 20.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their social needs p.101
Figure 21.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their Esteem Needs

Figure 21.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their Esteem Needs p.103
Figure 22.  Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their self-actualization needs

Figure 22.

Participants’ view on the impact of their programs on their self-actualization needs p.106

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