Encyclopedia of Teacher Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters

Language Teacher Agency

Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-1179-6_123-2


Agency, associated with human beings’ choice and “control over [their] thought and action” (Hiver and Whitehead 2018, p. 70), has emerged as an important conceptual tool for researchers who wish to make sense of language teachers’ pedagogical practice and professional development. Recognizing teachers as key agents in educational changes or curriculum reforms, educational researchers in different contexts have explored why and how teachers enable and empower themselves for changes, leading to the rise of teacher agency as a major topic in teacher education research. Likewise, language teacher agency has also emerged as an important research topic, since relevant inquiries help reveal insights into language teachers’ experiences of adapting themselves to shifting teaching conditions, adopting new pedagogical approaches, and managing their professional practice to meet changing requirements. Far more importantly, the construct of agency helps researchers appreciate how...

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  1. Edwards, A., & D’Arcy, C. (2004). Relational agency and disposition in sociocultural accounts of learning to teach. Educational Review, 56(2), 147–155.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0031910410001693236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Shanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Anne Li Jiang
    • 1
  • Lawrence Jun Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Foreign LanguagesNortheast Normal University, ChinaChangchunChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand