Understanding the role of transformative learning in native English-speaking teachers’ identity formation and professional confidence development

As more and more western teachers come to work in China's higher education, their professional development has become essential for formulating relevant organizational policies and employee retention in transnational universities. This study wants to understand how native English-speaking teachers cope and overcome cultural challenges when teaching local students. The research investigates how transformative learning impacts teachers' identity formation and professional confidence development in a new cultural setting. In particular, how western teachers leverage reflective practices to help them adapt. To what extent can negotiation of identity enhance or diminish foreign teachers' professional confidence in the new cultural setting?

This study used the Biographical, Narrative, Interpretive Method (BNIM) for data collection and analysis. Five native English-speaking teachers in a Chinese transnational university participated in two rounds of one-on-one interviews. This process uncovered their critical incidents at work. Data revealed that transformative learning occurred for novice teachers as they processed their understandings of teaching challenges and looked for solutions. These teachers transformed from having doubts to being confident in their teaching roles. They found meaning in their teacher identity. The research suggests that transformative learning can effectively support novice teachers' career development when they move to a new cultural setting.

Format: Roundtable Session


Qian Wang, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Biying Wen, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Floriana Grasso, University of Liverpool
Qing Chen, University of Liverpool
Juming Shen, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Session Date & Time: Fri, 08 Apr 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT