The topic of teacher research has been widely discussed by researchers. What has been less discussed is how teachers make sense of classroom research. Given the difficulties of implementing teacher research, it is necessary to understand teachers’ conceptions of research and the role that it plays in their work. Whilst there is a burgeoning literature on teachers’ experiences of undertaking classroom research in countries such as the US and the UK, there remains a dearth of studies that explore language teachers’ conceptions of research in non-western contexts. This study addresses this gap by exploring 10 Chinese English teachers’ conceptions of classroom research in an English training centre in Beijing, China. Semi-structured interviews found that the participants were highly motivated to undertake research, conceptualising it as a way to improve their classroom practice and to improve student engagement. The teachers also viewed collaboration as a way to overcome issues of time and a lack of research experience. The study also highlighted a number of impediments to undertaking classroom research in the context of language teaching in China, the most significant of which was restricted access to academic literature. The paper ends by making a number of recommendations that address the impediments highlighted by the teachers. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationPoole, A., Shi, Y., & Yang, L. (2021). ‘We have the DNA of a university’: Chinese English teachers’ conceptions of classroom research. Professional Development in Education. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2021.1950032
- English language teachers
- Teacher research
- English training centres
- Shadow education