Action Research as A Tool of Professional Development of Advisers and Teachers in Croatia

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Published: 
Feb. 28, 2010

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 33, Issue 1, February 2010,
p. 19 – 30.

(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Action research has had positive effects on teachers' understanding, practice and morale, with consequent benefits for pupils. However, its use is not widespread in Croatia. This article reports on a programme in which senior advisers from the Education and Teacher Training Agency (ETTA) developed action research projects in Croatian schools.

Methods

In 2007 the head of the Department for International Cooperation, recruited a foreign expert to lead an action research programme with ETTA advisers. The aim was to support 18 senior advisers from different regions in Croatia (Zagreb, Osijek and Rijeka) in understanding how to do action research and to encourage them to undertake individual action research projects.

The authors wanted to learn:
How educational action research might be used by advisers and teachers in Croatia.
How educational action research is understood in this context.

Data relating to the advisers' projects were collected. These included:
Written research plans.
Written and aural presentations of work in progress.
Written and aural presentations of final reports.
Participants' evaluations.

Conclusions

The authors have reached several conclusions about the impact of the programme.
First, there is evidence that the concept of action research was thoroughly understood by nearly all the advisers.

Second, the advisers were able to use their understandings, communicating them to principals and teachers, in order to design and implement projects at school- and classroom-levels.

Third, the action research encouraged advisers and teachers to seek data that might provide evidence of change.

Finally, the programme enabled the advisers to share their experiences and to find common ground. As they presented their individual projects, recurring themes, were identified, phrased as statements and shared with the advisers.

In conclusion, this research suggests that action research can play a part in professional development and lifelong learning, even when imported from elsewhere.

Updated: Jul. 20, 2010
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