Teacher Beliefs as a Complex System: English Language Teachers in China

  • Hongying Zheng

Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 4)

Table of contents

About this book


The volume is a practical introduction to the ways in which the teachers deal with classroom events in the context of change for researchers, teachers, administrators who wish to implement curriculum reform to EFL in schools. The author provides insights into the beliefs of Chinese teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and their pedagogical choices in the context of the National English Curriculum Reform. The complex nature of EFL teachers’ beliefs about EFL teaching and learning are exposed, how their beliefs interact with mental and actionable processes triggered by classroom practice, and how their beliefs co-adapt with contexts to maintain the stability of the teachers’ belief systems.

This is the first study to present complexity theory in a narrative context of education, exploring the non-linear and unpredictable features of the relationship between the teachers’ beliefs and practices. Integrating complexity theory with interpretivist, ecological and sociocultural perspectives, this book contributes to the research agenda by providing a systematic framework for examining teacher beliefs as a whole, and examining the extent to which western theory may be applied to Chinese educational contexts.


Chinese educational context EFL in China EFL teachers in Chinese secondary education English as a foreign language in primary schools English in Chinese highschools complexity theory in education curriculum reform interpretivist ecological and sociocultural perspecitves language classroom practice national curriculum reform in China pedagogical choices in language education relationship between teachers' beliefs and practice teacher beliefs teacher cognition teacher education in China teachers' belief systems

Authors and affiliations

  • Hongying Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Foreign Languages Sichuan Normal UniversityChengduChina

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