Teachers in action research: Its implications for the knowledge and skill of teachers

Yuen Ling Joyce LI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Research literature has long been indicated that action research allows teachers to derive their own theories from action (Schon, 1987). The process may stimulate practitioners themselves actively to evaluate the quality of their practice, providing a context in which professional judgement is given priority over rule following (Blenkin & Kelly, 1997). Teachers are thus learn to reflect on others' practice to develop a personal theory of teaching and to become an autonomous teacher (Mclntyre, 1992). However, teacher knowledge is a critical foundation in the process of learning to teach, and instruction is shaped by what teachers know and do not know {Anning, 1999). Collaborative reflection provides us with a window into the knowledge-in-action of practitioners. In a purposefully designed school-based project funded by the Quality Education Fund (QEF), teachers of five kindergartens took part in an action research. In the project, practitioners were called to question particular aspect of their practice, to inquire the underlying values and assumptions which informed and influenced that practice. Practitioners then re-adjusted their practice according to their preliminary hypothesis of effective teaching. The insights gained from the try-outs were accommodated to re-develop draft scripts on simulated teaching. The final video film of each team was the finding of the tested hypothesis. This study is to report the use of action research for the development of early years' professional practice by analyzing the pre-project and the video filmed teaching events. The finding was that action research might support knowledge development in the teacher profession. (Anning, 1999). The teacher's ability to accommodate outside knowledge might be limited by one's inside knowledge. A teacher needs diverse information for enactment through sustained professional interactions before he or she becomes an autonomous teacher. The study helps to clarify the assumptions and potentials of action research for teachers learning to teach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

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Citation

Li, Y. L. (2004, July). Teachers in action research: Its implications for the knowledge and skill of teachers. Paper presented at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) World Assembly 2004: Teachers as learners: Building communities for professional development, Hong Kong, China.