Hanan Khaled

Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Linda Silvernail


This explanatory mixed-method action research describes how a social constructivist professional development program impacts self-reflection of foreign language teachers at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC). The problem is that traditional professional development for foreign language teachers does not improve self-reflection. Despite their individual differences and qualifications, most teachers receive traditional in-service professional development (Darling-Hammond, Hyler, Gardner, & Espinoza, 2017) on a specific topic and have no time to reflect on their existing practices, newly presented concepts, or students' responses to instruction. The effectiveness of such professional development is questionable (Darling-Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009; Penuel, Gallagher, & Moorthy, 2011; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, &; Shapley, 2007; Wei, Darling-Hammond, & Adamson, 2010). Therefore, the purpose of the study is to guide teachers to incorporate reflective teaching practices into their routines through a social constructivist professional development program. The program was adapted from Hall and Simeral (2015) and was tailored to teachers' initial self-reflection tendencies. Eleven foreign language teachers participated in the study. Teachers' self-reflection tendencies and frequency of reflection were measured using two parameters: (a) pretest and posttest surveys (quantitative data) and (b) teachers' responses to prompts in their final reflective journals (qualitative data). Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were used to describe the changes in teachers' self-reflection tendencies and frequency of reflection. Findings showed that the social constructivist professional development program increased the self-reflection tendencies and frequency of reflection for nine of DLIFLC participating teachers. Two participating teachers showed a decline in their self-reflection tendencies. The findings guided the development of the action plan to explain the role of the teachers' supervisors and trainers as servant leaders (Liden, Panaccio, Hu, & Meuser, 2014) and builders of teachers' capacity for reflective teaching (Hall & Simeral, 2017). Suggestions for future studies are provided.


© 2019, Hanan Khaled