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Volume 17 Number 2, Summer 2020, Pages 319-757   

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Teachers' Sense of Plausibility: A Study of Narratives of Experienced Teachers

    Jayakaran Mukundan, Alan Maley & Abdulaziz Alfehaid

'Plausibility' as a concept is a state of knowledge which is short of certainty (Prabhu, 2019, p. 6). It refers to knowledge that teachers themselves develop through experience. Sometimes it evolves out of the existing knowledge of teachers which is derived from formal education. The effect of teacher experience leads to some form of evolution of teacher expertise – it is in a constant state of flux, and as a result, the teacher even modifies formal and prior knowledge within the context of experience. There seems to be inert hypothesis testing on theories and practice in the minds of teachers. The present study rests on the theoretical base proposed by Prabhu (1987) on Teachers' Sense of Plausibility (TSOP), which was later elaborated on by Kumaravadivelu (1994) and Maley (2016). The methodology of the study involved content analysis, with qualitative interpretation and reporting procedures. It involved the analyses of the narratives of 20 experienced teachers from various continents and countries, about Teachers' Sense of Plausibility (TSOP). These full narratives were published in the book ‘Developing Expertise through Experience' (Maley, 2019b). The findings of our analyses revealed some commonalities within the narratives with regards TSOP. These commonalities are fleshed out, analyzed, and reported in the form of five themes. We hope that the renewed interest in TSOP will benefit future teacher professional development initiatives.

Keywords: teachers' sense of plausibility, narratives, experienced teachers, expertise, professional development