Indonesian EFL teacher professionalism: a case study in Salatiga Municipality.

Doctoral Studies Completed Theses - 2009 Archive

Page archived at: Mon, 14 December 2009 09:19:02 +1000

Grace Ika Yuwono

PhD thesis, awarded 2009

This thesis examines the notions of professionalism of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher in one case in one Indonesian town of Salatiga (Salatiga Municipality) from the perspectives of local educational actors, mainly English teachers and school principals. Perspectives from other stakeholders, such as personnel from the Indonesian Teachers' Association and The Local Education Office, particularly in relation to their support in enhancing EFL teacher professionalism, are also discussed in this thesis. The thesis also investigates how Indonesian EFL teachers construct and perceive the notions of 'teaching profession' and 'professionalism' in relation to the recent mandated change in teacher professionalism, competence, and certification - a change which was stipulated in Indonesian National Law number 14 and was released in December 2005. In addition, the thesis elaborates issues surrounding professional development programs for EFL teachers, which are usually conducted or organised by one local university in the Municipality and The Local Education Office.

To understand how EFL teachers and other related stakeholders in Salatiga construct and define professionalism, what support is available for those teachers in attempting to be 'professional', the nature of professional learning available for EFL teachers, and the extent to which Law 14/2005 is understood and implemented, a case study approach was used. The methods of data collection employed include in-depth interviews and document analysis.

The fieldwork of this study was undertaken in Salatiga in early 2007, in which the researcher visited seventeen schools and interviewed forty-six English teachers, seventeen principals, six university staff members, a representative from the Teachers' Association, and a key figure from the Local Education Office. Literature in teaching profession and teacher professionalism, as well as literature reviewing the conditions of education and the teaching force in Indonesia, frame the current study.

The findings suggest that Indonesian EFL teacher professionalism in today's education cannot be separated from the nation's fragile education system and teaching force; dimensions of teacher professionalism as proposed by professionalism scholars are often missing or lacking for Indonesian teachers. It was found that educational actors at the grassroots level often became victims of frequent policy changes and reforms in education. Those changes influence how teachers perceive their professionalism. To address the issues of enhancing teacher professionalism in Salatiga Municipality, it is suggested in the thesis that educational stakeholders in the region should have a shared meaning of professionalism and should collaborate and trust each other.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Lesley Harbon