English Teachers’ Research Engagement: Level of Engagement and Motivation

Document Type: Original Article

Author

University of Neyshabur, Iran

Abstract

The gap between research and practice has been an endemic feature of the Iranian English language teaching profession. This concern has recently received major attention by the call for empirical investigationsto be conducted in order to improve the relationship between research and practice. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent to which Iranian English teachers engage in doing and reading research. The study also aimed at exploring the motivations that can promote teachers’ research engagement. Data were collected through conducting qualitative interviews with 24 teachers with various teaching backgrounds. Analysis of the data revealed moderate level of research engagement. The results also showed a wide range of motivations, including teachers’ professional development, instrumental incentives, institutional expectations and pedagogical concerns that can promote teachers’ research engagement. Further analyses demonstrated that teachers’ professional development and pedagogical concerns remain their main motivations for research engagement. Instrumental incentives and organizational expectations comprise other potential motivations that can be profitably used to encourage teachers’ research engagement. However, this is not likely to happen unless working conditions in Iranian schools and policy conditions in national education system are altered.

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