Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


There are many reasons to pursue professional development, but perhaps one of the most important may be to narrow the wide chasm left behind by many teacher education programs. Freeman (1989) and Holliday (1994) have pointed out many of the difficulties associated with the transfer of knowledge into classroom practices, while others have directed attention to the vast kaleidoscope of cultural diversity involved in ELT (see Larsen-Freeman, 1983; Colabucci, 2007; Govardhan, Nayar and Sheorey, 1999). Consider, for a moment, what happens to a cohort of MA TESOL students upon completion of their teacher education programs. They scatter off to various points on the globe, each in search of a job with their newly minted degrees. One could end up teaching at a refugee camp in rural northern Thailand, with only chalk and a blackboard at their disposal, while another may end up teaching EAP in the United Arab Emirates. Given such diversity, then, how could any one teacher education program ever prepare its students to meet such challenges?