Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.

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Open Access Dissertation


English teachers--Training of--India; Tibetans--India;


Using qualitative field techniques, the researcher explored teacher learning in a small community of English language teachers in a rural Tibetan school in India. From a community of practice perspective teachers were studied in terms of what they practiced, what challenges they faced and how they interacted and learned from and with each other.

The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to describe practicing teachers' perception of professional development and teacher learning, and (b) to examine teacher learning from a community of practice perspective. Eight female and two male teachers who taught English participated in the study. Prolonged engagement in the natural setting of the participants yielded a rich description from ethnographic interviews (Spradley, 1979), field notes (Spradley, 1980), from participant observation in classroom with pre- and post-observation conversations. Teacher journals provided another source of data. Interviews were transcribed and returned to participants for further reflection and verification. The transformation of the qualitative data involved three stages: description, analysis, and interpretation (Wolcott, 1994). Findings indicated that the teachers had limited professional development opportunities due to geographical and economical constraints. They preferred professional development experiences that were connected to their day-to-day demands and goals. As a community of teachers their learning mostly resulted from their passion for sharing and concern for others. The teachers talked about commitment and responsibility as some of the greatest motivation for them to learn as teachers.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2011 Award

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Linda May Fitzgerald, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (xiv, 207 pages)



File Format