Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Despite the widely recognized significance of values education in a rapidly changing world and teachers’ education-related beliefs, little research has investigated how English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers navigate values in their classrooms. The study reported in this paper explored in-service EFL teachers’ perceptions of values education and their conceptions of their moral roles, aiming to develop an instrument related to values education. To this end, this exploratory sequential mixed-methods study recruited 10 EFL teachers selected through maximum variation sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teacher participants and the data were analyzed inductively through thematic analysis. Furthermore, the existing literature and the insights gleaned from the initial phase of the study led to the development of a questionnaire, which was administered to 332 EFL teachers in the quantitative phase of the study. Six overarching themes were identified through thematic analysis of the interview data, namely relational values, personal growth, academic excellence, regulatory values, teachers’ personal standards and global values with teachers prioritizing students’ motivation and wellbeing over other value types. In addition, confirmatory factor analysis of the developed questionnaire verified a five-factor structure. Only 23 items out of 53 initial items were retained in the final version of the questionnaire. Overall, the results revealed that master obligation of teachers, associated with nurturing students’ dignity was prioritized over teachers’ prima facie obligation which promotes students’ learning and intellectual growth. After a detailed discussion, implications and suggestions for future research are presented in the end.


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