The view that autonomy is a multidimensional construct which may change depending on contexts and time calls for more empirical studies to understand its long term development across contexts (Benson, 2001, 2007). This paper presents the results of a longitudinal study documenting the autonomous development of four student-teachers' long journey of learning English and learning to teach English as a foreign language in Hong Kong. Data collected from lesson observations, reflective journals, informal chats, portfolios and semi-structured interviews were analysed. A theoretical model of studentteachers' autonomous development was suggested. Implications were also made for teacher educators who are promoting teacher autonomy in their student-teachers. First of all, as learner autonomy and teacher autonomy are interdependent, teacher education programs should incorporate practices that promote autonomy in the learners. Secondly, as contextual factors are important in facilitating the success of field experience, collaborative forms of institute-school partnership should be established because it helps set a platform where various parties have clearly defined roles and responsibilities in structuring challenge and support to meet student-teachers' needs. In conclusion, if teacher autonomy is seen as a desirable goal to be achieved, student-teachers should be provided certain kinds of support in order to succeed.
|Publication status||Published - 2009|