Reflective EFL Education in Iran: Existing Situation and Teachers’ Perceived Fundamental Challenges

1English Department, Ilam University, IRAN,
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2018.77.7


Purpose: The significance of reflective teaching has been widely underscored in the literature. A primary consideration concerning the actualization of teacher reflection is seeking existing challenges to the approach and planning to handle them. This study sought to explore the current status of reflective teaching among Iranian EFL teachers and their perception of fundamental challenges to teacher reflection.

Methods: Adopting a mixed-method approach, this study took advantage of questionnaire and open-ended survey. The data were collected from 176 high school teachers. To indicate whether any significant discrepancy existed between the expected and observed behaviours, chi-square goodness-of-fit test was run at item level. Concerning the data collected through the open-ended survey, the recurrent themes were identified, and the major categories of challenges, subcategories, and their frequency of being mentioned were extracted.

Findings: The results of chi-square goodness-of-fit test were statistically significant in 28 items out of 29, that is, there were significant discrepancies between the expected and observed behaviours in case of 28 dimensions of teacher reflection included in the instrument. Following the thematic analysis, five main categories of obstacles were extracted, including the obstacles relevant to teachers, students, educational system (macro and micro level), political system, and parents. In terms of frequency, the categories of educational system and teacher-relevant obstacles were the first and second most frequently mentioned categories.

Implications for Research and Practice: Indicating an inappropriate situation, the results implied the necessity for change in teacher education programs and highlighted the role of the Ministry of Education in facilitating teacher reflection.

Keywords: Reflective teaching, current status, EFL teachers, challenging obstacles.