First-Timer's Impressions of Engaging in Action Research: A Case in Ethiopian Preservice Teacher Education

Spring 2007

Source: Action in Teacher Education v. 29 no. 1 (Spring 2007) p. 71-80

In this study, I examined the impressions of 10 preservice education degree teachers at Haramaya University, Ethiopia, toward their engagement in action research as part of their practicum courses.

Because action research is a recent component in education of teachers in Ethiopia, I explored the insights gained by preservice teachers from their experiences of undertaking action research during this assignment. To this end, as a research advisor, I involved the student teachers in a series of individual and group meetings in the course of the project to get their reflections regarding the usefulness and challenging aspects of their engagement in individual action research. I also asked the student teachers to write progress reports and reflections in the course of undertaking their individual action research projects. Further, I kept reflection notes on my experiences of facilitating action research as a teacher educator without prior experiences of such kind.

Accordingly, although there were some challenges, many student teachers found their experiences positive. The student teachers remarked that their involvement in action research helped them understand the complexities involved in teaching and how to respond to it vigilantly through an inquiry approach. The study has implications on the role of training teacher candidates in action research and the measures that need to be taken to promote it in preservice teacher education where the approach is not yet well established, as in the Ethiopian context. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Updated: Dec. 17, 2007