Exploring Female EFL Teachers’ Professional Agency for Their Sustainable Career Development in China : A Self-Discrepancy Theory Perspective

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Ruan , X & Toom , A 2022 , ' Exploring Female EFL Teachers’ Professional Agency for Their Sustainable Career Development in China : A Self-Discrepancy Theory Perspective ' , Frontiers in Psychology , vol. 13 , 906727 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.906727

Title: Exploring Female EFL Teachers’ Professional Agency for Their Sustainable Career Development in China : A Self-Discrepancy Theory Perspective
Author: Ruan, Xiaolei; Toom, Auli
Contributor organization: The Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE)
Department of Education
Date: 2022-06-23
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Frontiers in Psychology
ISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.906727
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/346395
Abstract: A large and growing body of literature has investigated the role of teachers' agency in their career trajectories. However, far too little attention has been paid to English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers', especially female EFL teachers', professional agency for their career development in the Chinese higher education setting. To address this gap, this study explores female EFL teachers' professional agency from a self-discrepancy theory perspective, namely, how the participating teachers have perceived discrepancies in their professional development and how they have enacted their professional agency to realize sustainable development. Based on a metaphor investigation of 167 teachers and interviews with nine of them, the current study found that (1) there are certain discrepancies between female EFL teachers' self-guides and actual selves concerning their professional identity construction; (2) female EFL teachers' professional agency is manifested in the continuum of iteration, practical evaluation, and projectivity processes, as well as in the entity of personal and environmental factors; and 3) female EFL teachers' professional agency and gender identity are closely intertwined with each other. This study can offer implications for teacher agency research and female teachers' sustainable development at large.
Subject: China
IDENTITY COMMITMENT
METAPHORS
female EFL teachers
metaphor
professional agency
self-discrepancy
516 Educational sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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