An Exploratory Study of Iranian EFL Teachers’ Agency: Conceptions and Practices

Document Type : Research Paper


English Language Department, Ahar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Ahar, Iran


The need for a strong educational system is felt more than ever due to globalization. In this respect, teacher agency has an important role in educational change. This qualitative meta-study, therefore, addressed the attitude of the teachers towards agency and the way they enact agency to facilitate learning process. To this purpose, the needed data were gathered from the narrative of life, professional history and class observations of five English teachers in Iranian context. Then, based on the Grounded Theory Approach, the data were analyzed and the obtained results showed that teachers’ pre-teaching and during teaching processes were made up of complex relationships among different resources; that is, teachers’ life ideology (their perception towards themselves and their job) and financial status. At the same time, the results revealed that teachers’ instruction experiences highly affect both their magnification of agency and their decision-making processes. It was further seen that agency was not stable at all, meaning that social factors and environmental conditions played important roles in shaping teacher’s agency.


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