Document Type : Research Paper


1 Shiraz University

2 Ph.D. in TEFL, Salman Farsi University of Kazerun


This investigation set out to look into the issue of teachers’ exercise of agency in the Iranian EFL context. More specifically, as part of a larger study, it reports on the ways two Iranian Ministry of Education teachers make sense of and operate in the country’s educational setting under the demands of a centralist system of education. Priestley, Biesta, & Robinson’s (2013) framework of teacher agency formed the conceptual backbone of the present study as well as guiding the data collection/analysis of the study. Qualitative data, from semi-structured interviews as well as follow-up data collection procedures, were gleaned from the participants over the course of an academic year and were subjected to analytical interpretation in the light of the said framework. The researchers came up with findings which, in the main, gave more weight to the well-roundedness of Priestly, Biesta, & Robinson’s model of teacher agency. The results also pointed to the highly situated nature of teacher responsiveness and action, thereby undermining the still prevalent views of the essentialist and idealized character of (teacher) agency. The results of the study are liable to be of use, among others, to case-based teacher education programs.

Keywords: teacher agency, English as a Foreign Language, Iran, teacher education


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