Identifying Existing Positive Disharmonies for Reconstructing Teaching Practice: A Case Study in Japan

Fumi Takegami


The purpose of this paper is to report outcomes of the study regarding the professional development of a Japanese teacher of English (JTE) helping her to meet the recent national English foreign language curriculum policy in Japan. The policy requires teachers to basically conduct classes in English. An action research framework was used. The participant, in collaboration with the author, went through praxis-oriented cycles built on planning, doing reflecting and revising. Data were collected and analyzed using grounded theory methods. A three-stage coding process led to the emergence of two core themes to encapsulate the data: Existing Positive Disharmonies (EPD), a disruptive zone leading to possibility of change; and Reconstructing Teaching Practice (RTP), in which the participant experienced changes that worked in her lessons. This led to the advancement in her teacher development to meet the demands of the new curriculum policy. The paper demonstrates that shedding light on positive disharmonies within teaching practices was useful in the participant’s professional development helping her to make instructional adjustments required by policy changes. It is plausible that the outcomes of this study may be transferable to teachers working in other similar teaching environments. Accordingly, a model for teacher development is presented to help JTEs and other teachers in their teacher development.

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