Teacher Research Transforming practice or re-arranging the deckchairs ? Tim Cain, Richard Harris & Gary Kinchin – University of Southampton BERA 7th September 2011. Technical action research.
Transforming practice or re-arranging the deckchairs?
Tim Cain, Richard Harris & Gary Kinchin – University of Southampton
BERA 7th September 2011
Externally-formulated questions & issues, not based in practical concerns of teachers - may be inauthentic for practitioners (co-option)
Aims for greater efficiency or effectiveness (instrumental reasoning)
Might be used to test findings from research, carried out by others
… provides a stimulus for change, participation in professional development, supportive organisational structure for self-monitoring
Carr & Kemmis, 1986: 202-03
Cooperative practitioner-facilitator relationships
Aims to develop professional wisdom – understanding in praxis
Criteria for improvement may change
Carr & Kemmis, 1986: 203
‘ … best embodies the values of a critical educational science’
Responsibility taken by participant group, with ‘moderator’ (collaboration)
Aims to develop ‘common practical theories, authentic insights and prudent decision making (based on mutual understanding and consensus)’
Aims to emancipate participants from ‘tradition, precedent, habit, coercion or self-deception’
Incorporates a social perspective, provokes a critical response to organizational constraints, aims at transforming organisation & practice of education
Explores these, to identify contradictory and irrational aspects
Carr & Kemmis, 1986: 203-4
‘… exists because the norms and rules learned through socialization have been internalized and are constantly reinforced. Human beings learn which skills work within the status quo and which do not work. The more the skills work, the more they influence individuals’ sense of competence. Individuals draw on such skills and justify their use by identifying the values embedded in them and adhering to these values.’
Argyris et al., 1985: xi
‘Practitioner research either can reproduce those norms, rules, skills and values or it can challenge them’.
Anderson, Herr & Nihlen, 1994: 25
‘Because of the essentially political nature of life in schools, educational practitioners who are engaged in research in their schools are not necessarily welcomed with open arms by colleagues and administrators ‘
Anderson, Herr & Nihlen, 1994: 38
‘… action research and educational institutions have dichotomous polar tendencies such that there is a dialectical tension between them. While action research fosters collegiality, informality, openness and collaboration, action researchers have to contend with educational institutions that are structured hierarchically with formal asymmetrical relations of power and responsibility’.
Huthchinson & Whitehouse, 1986: 85
School minimum target
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