teaching, as employed in this research, was best defined by Jay and Johnson (2002). According to them,
Reflection is a process, both individual and collaborative, involving experience and uncertainty. It is comprised of identifying questions and key elements of a matter that has emerged as significant, then taking one’s thoughts into dialogue with oneself and with others. One evaluates insights gained from that process with reference to: (1) additional perspectives, (2) one’s own values, experiences, and beliefs, and (3) the larger context within which the questions are raised. Through reflection, one reaches newfound clarity, on which one basis changes in action or disposition. New questions naturally arise, and the process spirals onward. (p. 76)
In this study, reflective teaching was operationally defined and measured by English Language Teaching Reflection Inventory, constructed by Akbari et al (2010). English Language Teaching Reflection Inventory consists of five constructs – practical, cognitive, affective, meta-cognitive, and critical.
Teachers’ Self-Efficacy
In the literature pertaining to teacher self-efficacy, the following terms are used to refer to different aspects of the concept.
Teacher Self-Efficacy: “The extent to which the teacher believes he or she has the capacity to affect student performance” (Bergman et al., 1977, p. 137; cited in Brouwers & Tomic, 2003). In the literature, the term is frequently used interchangeable with Teacher Sense of Efficacy.
Locus of control: Based on Rotter’s (1954) social learning theory of personality, locus of control is defined as ” a generalized expectancy for internal as opposed to external control of reinforcements” (Lefcourt, 1976, p. 27). Rose and Medway (1981, cited in Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001) developed the first scale to measure locus of control (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001).
In this research, Teacher Self-Efficacy was operationally defined by TSES developed by Tschannen-Moran and Hoy (2001). TSES consists of three constructs – self-efficacy in student engagement, self-efficacy in instructional strategies, and self-efficacy in classroom management.
Novice EFL Teachers
In this research the term refers to teachers who have entered the teaching profession for the first time or who have had little teaching experience (Tsui, 2003), in other words a teacher who has passed Teacher Training Course (TTC) and has less than 2100 hours of teaching is considered as a novice teacher.
Experienced EFL Teachers
In this research, experienced teacher is operationally defined as a teacher who has passed Teacher Training Course (TTC) and has more than 2100 hours of teaching is considered as an experienced teacher.
Five major dimensions of experienced teachers are as follows (Jaeger, 2003)
?? can identify essential representations of their subject,
?? can guide learning through classroom interactions,
?? can monitor learning and provide feedback,
?? can attend to affective attributes, and
?? can influence student outcomes
Following Tschannen and Hoy (2007) and Chan (2008) the researcher chose two years of teaching experience as the cut-off point for dividing novice and experienced teachers.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research is of significance to the domain of ELT as it extends the knowledge base that currently exists in that field. For one thing, it examines the effectiveness of reflective teaching by probing its relationship to teacher efficacy, a feature that is missing in the literature. It has already been shown, of course, that developing reflective teachers is important in education, because through reflection, teachers develop a capacity for self-directed learning (Korthagen, 1993) and they foster greater professional and personal development (Lord & Lomicka, 2007). However, its relationship with teacher effectiveness has never been measured.
If the relationship between reflectivity and self-efficacy that is investigated by this research is established, involvement in reflective activities will be justified, as it would mean carrying out teaching in a more effective manner. Additionally, the present research can help educators have a better picture of reflective teaching by differentiating novice and experienced teachers accordingly. This, in turn, will assist them in training teachers who are more reflective.
Many schools have chosen to embrace the concept of reflection in their teacher training programs, and research that explores the unexplored areas of reflective teaching and depicts its effectiveness will help to raise awareness in such programs. In addition, those who are unacquainted with the potential benefits of reflective teaching within their educational setting will be encouraged to revise their programs.
Additionally, this study aimed to attract teacher educators’ attention to the fact that efficacy and reflection are important in understanding how teachers approach their work. They can, therefore, build into their programs tasks that encourage teachers to reveal and become more aware of their self-efficacy and reflection. Equally significant, if a relationship between self-efficacy and reflective teaching is established, a practical way is suggested to promote teachers’ self-efficacy (through promoting reflectivity). This will fill the existing gap in the literature pertaining to teacher self-efficacy.
The population chosen for this study is sufficiently unique to reliably allow this research to illuminate the possibility of a relationship between teacher efficacy and reflective teaching and to demonstrate the degree to which teaching experience can be a factor for this. This research, then, is poised to expand the general knowledge base for further research into the area of reflective teaching.
1.7 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study
This study investigated the reflection levels and self-efficacy levels of a specific group, both geographically and occupationally, of EFL teachers in Iran. However, as Safir is a major language school in Tehran employing over 900 teachers, it is believed that the population represents EFL teachers at private schools in Iran.
Limitations:
Like any other research facing limitations, the research at hand was exposed to the following:
All information related to EFL teachers based on their hours of experience was collected from Safir head quarters, though the participants might teach in other institutions in which no data could be explored. This in turn, can affect the result of the research.
Only female teachers were selected for the study as no appropriate permission was given to the researcher to conduct the research in boy-only branches due to the education ministry rules.
Delimitations:
The following delimitation was set to guarantee as much as possible the generalizability of the findings of the study.
This research involved EFL teachers who taught at different branches of Safir Language Schools. The study