Research Methods (288 items)To section archive

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The professional development of teachers in China takes place, to a large extent, in Teaching Research Groups (TRG) that exist in all schools. Though there are diverse models of TRG activities, these might, on the surface, appear to resemble forms of Action Research (AR) or include elements that might resemble AR. In conducting a Lesson Design Study (LDS) with a TRG in Shanghai, the authors encountered the specific challenge of what might be the interconnectedness and differences between AR and their LDS. To address this issue, they applied a research-informed depiction of the distinguishing characteristics of AR to their LDS. Based on this analysis, they found that (1) in contrast to the depiction of AR that encompasses a choice of methods, their LDS follows a specific ‘design research’ methodology, (2) whereas the depiction of AR is simultaneously directed towards teacher self-change and restructuring the organisation or institution within which the teacher works, LDS concerns more than the practical questions in one local social context and aims to tackle bigger questions across the social contexts in the subject research field, and (3) whereas in the depiction of AR, teachers engage in a process of authentic collaboration with other teachers seeking to improve their practices, in the LDS community the external researchers and expert teachers play other roles in the TRG. Even though there may be differences between the depiction of AR and their LDS, the interconnectedness is important in that both AR and their LDS contribute directly to school-based teacher professional development.
Published: 2019
Updated: Apr. 20, 2020
Having developed and piloted a professional development blended learning course for teachers of home economics with the purpose of promoting a sustainable mindset in their students, the authors used the written learning journals by the teachers during the 15-week course to detect various aspects of a sustainable mindset, which could be attributed to the course. They assumed that the learning journals of 19 participants might reveal reflections on sustainability, the pedagogy of sustainability, a positive association between sustainability and the pedagogy of sustainability, and the development of a sustainable mindset over the period of the course. The analysis confirmed that the participants reflected a great deal on learning and sustainability as the course progressed; revealing that a positive link between teaching practice and sustainability can be observed. However, the analysis also indicated some important concepts that might have been under-emphasised in the course.
Published: 2019
Updated: Jan. 29, 2020
In the context of the major influence that ‘effectiveness’ is having internationally, this paper studies the contemporary methodological perspectives in educational research when considering teachers’ practice. It shows that current trends can be boiled down to: (1) naturalistic methodology, (2) descriptive methodology, and (3) the nonmethodological solution. It states two main conclusions: first, there is a neat continuity with traditional methodologies, which were in decline long ago; second, contemporary perspectives in educational research fail to provide a consistent methodological model for ‘effective practices’. The author finally draws some conclusions and makes some suggestions for the further development of methodology in educational research and teachers’ practice. This study is noteworthy for teachers’ practice, collaborations and partnerships, and also for the relationship amongst research/practice/policy, which is at the core of the implementation of educational systems.
Published: 2019
Updated: Dec. 05, 2019
The central focus of this multilayered educational action research project was three-fold: (1) to provide opportunities for public school student leadership activities grounded in participatory and youth participatory action research; (2) to support a group of teacher-researchers in practicing and innovating in participatory action research frameworks; (3) to practice linking an educational action research project in a local region to the larger movement for democratizing education knowledge production and dissemination. Project participants included 11 teacher-researchers, a staff-developer, a consultant, a university-based faculty member, and students in K-8 schools in the Lehigh Valley region of Eastern Pennsylvania USA. To move from a traditional top-down administrative and curricular decision- making model to a distributed and more democratic model of leadership, the team argues that (1) children must be permitted to play a leading role in their own learning, leading, and researching; (2) teacher offers significant advantages over traditional in-service based professional development models; and (3) in an era of increased deskilling and deprofessionalization, teachers must have the opportunity to reclaim their profession as they conduct research, create new knowledge, and share their findings publicly.
Published: 2019
Updated: Dec. 03, 2019