Action Research for Language Teachers (Cambridge Teacher Training and Development)
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If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers proposes that action research should be a collaborative process emerging from the practical concerns of groups of teachers working in a common or similar context. Teachers' first-person accounts provide the basis for exploring the challenges and constraints of action research. Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers discusses: what collaborative action research is and why it is of interest to classroom teachers; processes and steps in collaborative action research; methods for data collection that integrate with classroom activities and ways of analysing action research data.
It will be of interest to teachers seeking new directions for their own professional development as well as to teacher educators, program administrators and researchers interested in integrating collaborative action research into current practice and curriculum renewal.
Read more Read less. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Michael J. Since autonomy development was fostered in students, they were learning to take responsibility for their own work and this was a reflection on the teachers trying not to control every single thing students did. The ideas generated for the implementation of the third cycle reflected more maturity on the collaborative team as we had furthered our understanding of teamwork.
Here we were able to help the pre-service and in-service teachers generate some general guidelines for their students while fostering the development of their autonomy. As a team we could grow professionally in terms of reading and reflecting together as well as sharing positive and negative issues lived in our own classes. While our meetings were productive and pleasurable, we were not as successful in the filling in of the surveys.
It is common to talk about different ways to improve as professionals, but we do not always do as we say. As an example, there was a conference on foreign language research organized by the English Department of our university and one of the four team members did not participate because he did not see this one as an opportunity for professional development. It was also difficult to have everyone turn in the surveys in a timely manner.
The initial survey was done with the aim of knowing what the main constructs that supported our research project meant to the participants involved see Appendix A. We also included the concept autonomy in order to know the level of commitment each participant had to their own professional development. The four participants answered the questions based on our own ideas and on what we had been able to build throughout the research study. After finishing the data collection, the same survey was administered to understand how these main concepts were the same or how they had changed.
In Tables 1 , 2 , and 3 we compare and contrast the answers provided by three of the four participants during the initial and final surveys. Only the main aspects mentioned by the participants are included. The initial and final surveys complemented each other because teachers mentioned similar aspects in both. One of the gains obtained from this research was the refining of the constructs and the major commitment that teachers expressed having after being part of this project.
Teachers did not have specific knowledge of the three concepts at the beginning of the research, but they gained a better understanding as we read and discussed research articles together, collected and analyzed data, and talked about our own teaching practices. The more we understood the concepts, the more we could appropriate them and put them into practice in our professional lives.
Although the words used by the participants to define each term varied at times, there was a commonality in the definitions in general, which made us think that working together benefited all of us. The roles we had in the research study were different as well as the level of training; however, it was rewarding to notice that we could learn from each other no matter how much we thought we knew about a topic.
Writing a journal gave us the opportunity to reflect more deeply after the implementation of each cycle. All team members were asked to write some reflections taking into account the most relevant aspects of each cycle see Appendix B. Here we present a summary of the journal entries.
During this cycle the participants were asked to write about the refinement of the research project, their academic peers' feedback, the advice given to the pre-service teacher for developing his micro project, and the collaborative planning of the team.
The participants stated that it was necessary to reflect upon the main constructs that guided our research and to continue documenting ourselves in order to have a better understanding of these constructs. Furthermore, the teacher trainers considered aspects such as the importance of teamwork and reflection to improve upon our teaching practices.
Given the fact that our research proposal had been evaluated by academic peers, their feedback was seen as an opportunity to see our work through the eyes of others. Teacher trainers mentioned that advising the pre-service teacher was a valuable experience that allowed them to learn with him. It was also stated that it is not always easy to know how much to give to the advisee in order for him to increase his level of autonomy. The collaborative planning of the team gave the participants the possibility to propose ideas regarding what would be done in the classroom, the opportunity to learn from each other, to appreciate others' thoughts and ideas, and the need to build communication strategies.
During the second cycle, the participants were asked to express their feelings about the collaborative planning of the team, the communication among team members and the analysis of the implementation of the first cycle. The first cycle was the result of the joint planning of the team. In this way, the participants could see the relation between what was said or planned outside the classroom and what was done in the classroom. The topics suggested for this cycle were the collaborative planning of the team and the analysis of the implementation of the third cycle.
All team members were pleased with the planning because everyone's voice was heard during meetings. This project taught the participants that it is possible to work as a team and to be ready to start new projects together. The pre-service teacher mentioned being in a reflective process and feeling more empowered thanks to the work done with the team.
He said he is planning to present his findings at a conference. It was also stated that it is easy to communicate with team members. It was rewarding to see students more focused on the activities assigned and to demonstrate a bigger sense of responsibility and commitment. The homeroom teacher's job was well done, which was a motivation for students to give the best of themselves.
Figure 1 presents the most common words mentioned by the participants. Responsibility, teamwork, opportunity, commitment, and negotiation are words that reflect the teachers' involvement in the projects and their desire to grow professionally. The words collaborative work and sharing can be paired up with the words challenging and rewarding because working with others will always have its ups and downs. Collaborating with peers to reach a common goal is imperative in the teaching field—a field where students are supposed to grasp the importance of sharing and negotiating, something that teachers often do not put into practice.
The goal we set at the beginning of our project was to analyze the impact that the collaborative planning, implementation, and evaluation of classroom projects, developed through CAR, have in the professional development of in-service and pre-service teachers working on a BA in English. Now we see that such impact was positive because of the following reasons:. The literature we studied and our experience suggest that professional development needs to be considered as an everlasting task that cannot be limited to training courses or to occasional meetings with colleagues; it needs to be part of our teaching career.
In this way, this study helped us uncover the benefits that working, studying, reflecting, and researching with colleagues have for our PD. Although challenging at times, this is a process that we plan to continue doing, as it allowed us to understand that sharing our own classroom experiences and knowledge with peers is a good way to keep growing personally and professionally.
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