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|Title: ||What is it like to be a Chartered Teacher doing action research?|
|Authors: ||Williamson, Zoè Claire|
|Supervisor(s): ||Griffiths, Morwenna|
|Issue Date: ||25-Nov-2010|
|Publisher: ||The University of Edinburgh|
|Abstract: ||Action research has become a widely accepted and popular form of teacher
professional development/learning, within the UK and internationally, and forms part
of the professional actions of the Scottish Chartered Teacher. Whilst action research
may be a valuable form of professional development supported through awardbearing
courses (such as the Scottish Chartered Teacher programmes), funded
projects or partnerships with university colleagues, it is questionable to what extent
this is continued or even valued by teachers beyond the parameters of CPD courses.
If Chartered Teachers are to engage meaningfully in action research then it is vital
we understand how they perceive the nature and purpose of such activities and
explore the opportunities and limitations they may face. This is not just an issue for
Chartered Teachers in Scotland but one that may concern any teacher attempting to
engage in action research as part of their practice.
To explore teachers’ lived experience of engaging in post-award non-funded action
research a case-study approach was adopted. The case study comprised six qualified
Chartered Teachers with this thesis focusing on the stories from three of the teachers.
In-depth loosely structured interviews were held with participants at three intervals
over the course of a year to discuss their current and ongoing action research work.
In addition visual data was created by participants to explore, share, (re)present and
negotiate their understandings of action research. Documentary data was also
collected. A broadly inductive approach to the analysis was taken, coding both
within and across cases. A thematic narrative analysis of the individuals’ stories was
also undertaken because I believe teachers’ individual stories are critically important
and was keen not to reduce these to ‘codes’ and ‘categories’.
Emerging from the data are three significant themes - the importance of
understanding the nature and purpose of action research; the teachers’ evolving
identities as Chartered Teachers/action researchers; and the need to develop and
promote a Third Space – creating a conceptually different way of being a teacher.
The data shows that traditional notions of research are influencing these teachers’
understanding of action research and this limits their action research work. How
teachers understand the nature and purpose of action research is deeply interrelated
with their identity as a teacher/Chartered Teacher/action researcher. Their
identity(ies), I suggest, is/are a site of struggle, contestation and negotiation and
Chartered Teachers are, arguably, in an in-between space: they are simultaneously
teacher and researcher, yet they are neither one nor the other. It is possible, then, to
understand Chartered Teacher as a hybrid identity and I draw upon Third Space
theory as a heuristic to understand Chartered Teacher as a distinctly different way of being a teacher. I argue that a more complex view is needed that promotes the
dynamic and fluid nature of action research. The insights drawn from this study offer
some understandings that may help us to (re)consider and (re)frame the way in which
we understand the teacher as researcher.|
|Keywords: ||action research|
action research experiences
Scottish Chartered Teacher
teacher as researcher
|Appears in Collections:||Moray House PhD thesis collection|
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