Professional Identity Among Limited-Term Contract University EFL Teachers in Japan

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Bjorn Fuisting, Sugiyama Jogakuen University

Teachers’ professional identity is an area of increased interest in educational research. However, limited research has been conducted on the professional identity among higher education teachers in Japan and none on how the implementation of the new employment rules affects professional identity among teachers on limited-term contracts. This paper details the recent changes in employment rules and their impact on limited-term contracts and reports the findings from an investigation into professional identity of EFL teachers on limited-term contacts. This study has 4 major findings: There are conflicts between teachers’ own definition of a good teacher and their role as a contracted teacher; there is a disconnect between how valued teachers feel and how committed they are to the teaching profession; there are differences between how Japanese teachers and non-Japanese teachers perceive that their professional identity has changed since becoming full-time contracted teachers; and limited-term teachers desire more job security.


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