Action research projects 2015-2016: Teachers’ reports - Boxgrove Alliance.
University of Greenwich
- Publisher: University of Greenwich
This year my Colleague, Dr Ana Cabral, and I from the University of Greenwich have had the privilege of working with a group of talented teachers from schools within the Alliance who were all interested to study their own practice in order to enrich the learning of the children they teach.\ud \ud Ana and I wanted to introduce the teachers to action research. The classic work by Carr and Kemmis (1986) describe action research as being about:\ud • the improvement of practice;\ud • the improvement of the understanding of practice;\ud • the improvement of the situation in which the practice takes place.\ud It was important to us that the teachers were systematic about the way they undertook their investigations. Teachers are busy people and the degree to which they applied the methodology varied. We discussed their aims – constructing research questions or identifying the problem they wished to solve. We worked on the best ways of collecting data to inform their actions and we talked about the ethical issues of being an ‘insider-researcher’ and how to address them.\ud \ud \ud We met with the teachers at least three times during a term and on a number of occasions we went to schools or had telephones conversations when teachers were too busy to attend. The meetings with the teachers were fascinating. Research has informed us that the most effective forms of continuing professional development (CPD) (BERA/RSA 2014) involve:\ud • the use of specialist advisors and external experts\ud • collaborative enquiry and structured peer support\ud • the opportunity to explore why things do and don’t ‘work’\ud • the exploration and challenging of teachers own beliefs and assumptions (p.25 – 27).\ud ‘All the research indicates that enquiry-orientated learning is not a quick-fix, but needs to be a sustained over time to ensure that learning (for both teachers and pupils) actually takes place’. (BERA/RCA 2014: 26)\ud In this document we provide the reports from the teachers that describe their work. They document the processes with which the teachers were engaged. In most cases teachers collected information from their own surveys or interviews and/or from reading literature in the area. They then describe the action they felt to be appropriate and conclude with a brief evaluation of the success of their projects. They all demonstrate the teachers’ hard work and determination. We would like to extend our thanks to all the teachers and the children involved. (Andrew Lambirth)