Critical Reflections of Action Research Used for Professional Development in A Middle Eastern Gulf State

Jun. 28, 2008

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 16, Issue 2 June 2008 ,
pages 235 - 250

This article describes and critically reflects on an action research project used for professional development purposes in a Middle Eastern Gulf State. The aim of the project was to improve professional development experiences for a group of in-service teacher educators, who were English as Second Language advisers.
The initial discussion highlights different ideological and methodological approaches to action research and identifies core characteristics that were framed to evaluate the project. Second, the background to the local context is described followed by the action research project, the methodology and outcomes.
Using an evaluative framework, the subsequent discussion describes the successes of this project. These include encouraging reflection in a collaborative environment, promoting a culture of learning and supporting the participant's reconstruction of professional knowledge situated in practice. Finally, there is a critical reflection around a number of challenges, tensions and questions that emerged from the project, centred on the loss of core democratic values underpinning action research.
These concerns highlight power relationships and the ownership and control of research, which become more apparent in mandatory situations and hierarchical contexts.

Updated: Oct. 05, 2008