Development and Validation of an Instrument Exploring Factors Challenging Iranian Graduate Student-Teachers

Document Type: Original Article


Assistant Professor of TEFL, Department of English Language, Sirjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sirjan, Iran


Improvement in the quality of teacher education programs, especially in higher education, is an important issue. Failure to have an efficient teacher education program could lead to the training of graduates who are not prepared for the realities of the classroom. Accordingly, in an attempt to help improve the present situa- tion of teacher education programs especially at the graduate level, this study aimed to develop and validate an instrument for exploring the challenges Iranian student-teachers face and to present a model for these hurdles. To this end, a Likert-scale questionnaire was constructed based on the literature and through con- sultation of experts which included 32 items. The questionnaire underwent a rigorous validation process in a pilot study with 180 teaching English as a foreign language participants studying for their master’s degree using Cronbach alpha, exploratory factor analysis, average variance extracted, and composite reliability. Furthermore, employing structural equation modeling procedures, a six-dimensional model was presented for the investigated challenges. The obtained results called for the authorities’ further attention to teacher trainees’ problems in areas such as financing, educational facilities, educational planning, peers, teachers as well as a series of personal and social problems they may experience. Considering and dealing with the problems experienced by student-teachers in each of these areas can certainly provide the authorities and different stakeholders with an abundance of new knowledge and information which can be effectively used to improve the quality of teacher training programs.


Altalib, H. (2002). Situated cognition: Describing the theory. (ERIC report 475183.Retrieved December 30, 2016 from Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) database.

Anastasi, A. (1986). Psychological testing (5th ed.). NY: Macmillan.

Asiyai, R. I. (2013). Challenges of quality in higher education in Nigeria in the 21st century. International Journal of educational planning and administration, 3(2), 159-172.

Barber, M., & Mourshed, M. (2007). How the world’s best performing school systems came out on top. London: McKinsey and Company.

Burke, M., & Sass, T. (2013). Classroom peer effects and student achievement. Journal of Labor Economics, 31(1), 51-82.

Cruickshank, D. R. (1984).Models for the preparation of America’s teachers. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.

Darling-Hammond, L. (2000). How teacher education matters. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 166-173.

Davin, K. J., Chavoshan, I., & Donato, R. (2018). Images of past teachers: Present when you teach. System, 72, 139-150.

Dewey, J. (1974). The Child and the Curriculum. In R. D. Archambault (Ed.), John Dewey on Education (pp. 339-358). Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Evans, E. D. (1976). Transition to teaching. New York: Holt.

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS. London: Sage Publications.
Fuller, F. F. (1969). Concerns of teachers: A 
developmental conceptualization. American Educational Research Journal, 6, 207-226.

Fuller, F. F., & Bown, O. H. (1975). Becoming a teacher. In K. Ryan (Ed.), Teacher education, 74th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (pp. 25-52). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gustafsson, J. E. (2003). What do we know about effects of school resources on educational results? Swedish Economic Policy Review, 10, 77-110.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Johnson, K. E. (2006). The sociocultural turn and its challenges for second language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 235-257.

Johnson, K. E. (2009). Second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective. New York, NY: Routledge.

Johnson, K. E., & Freeman, D. (2001). Teacher learning in second language teacher education: A socially-situated perspective. Revista Brasileira de Linguistica Aplicada (The Brazilian Journal of Applied Linguistics) 1(1), 53- 69.

Khatib, M., & Rezaei, S. (2013). A model and questionnaire of language identity in Iran: a structural equation modelling approach. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 34(7), 690- 708.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching: From method to post method. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Moiinvaziri, M. & Razmjoo, S. A. (2016). Teachers-to-be voices: A grounded theory approach towards challenges facing Iranian EFL M.A. candidates. RALs, 7(1), 54-74.

Moodie, I. (2016). The anti-apprenticeship of observation: How negative prior language learning experience influences English language teachers’ beliefs and practices. System 60(5), 29-41.Pallant, J. (2007). SPSS survival manual. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Putnam, R., & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning? Educational Researcher, 29(1), 4-15.

Richards, J. C., & Nunan, D. (Eds.). (1990). Second language teacher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sadeghi, B., & Jamshidi Avanaki, H. (2014). A comparative study of teacher education in Iran and the UK. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(5), 1153-1159.

Sadeghi, K., & Sa’adatpourvahid, M. (2016). EFL teachers’ stress and job satisfaction: What contribution can teacher education make? Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research 4(3), 75-96.

Shepard, L. A. (1993). Evaluating test validity. Review of Research in Education, 19, 405-450.

Strube, M. J. (2000). Reliability and generalizability theory. In L. G. Grimm & P. R. Yarnold (Eds.), Reading and Understanding More Multivariate Statistics (pp. 23-66).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Toom, A., Pietarinen, J., Soini, T., & Pyhältö, K. (2017). How does the learning environment in teacher education cultivate first year student teachers’ sense of professional agency in the professional community? Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 126-136.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UniversityPress.

Wei, M., Zhou, Y., Barber, C., & den Brok, P. (2015). Chinese students' perceptions of teacher-student interpersonal behavior and implications. System, 55, 134-144.

Wenglinsky, H. (2002). How schools matter: The link between teacher classroom practices and student academic performance.Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10(12), 1-30.

Volume 8, Issue 4
December 2018
Pages 27-43