Teacher Learning in Action Research - Insights from Information Technology (IT) Teachers in the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education Programme at the School of Education, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Keywords:Teacher Learning, Classroom Action Research, Information Technology/Computer Science, Teachers
The Action Research course, as part of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Education programme for in-service teachers, is conceptualised as research where in-service teachers investigate a problematic issue in their classroom/school. Action research expects a shift from practitioner to researcher, a journey that is often difficult for teachers, and presents opportunities for formal and informal learning through participation in the course. Using purposive sampling, 19 Information Technology/Computer Science teachers were selected to explore their learning in a blended Action Research course. Data were collected from online cross-sectional surveys, with closed- and open-ended questions, and qualitatively analysed for common themes. Findings revealed teacher learning occurred through participation in learning activities leading to desirable learning outcomes, such as change in knowledge, beliefs and practices. Teachers seemed committed to the action research process, appeared motivated during their learning and indicated a desire to continue to do action research. Four assertions about teacher learning are made, noting the importance of the learning environment in fostering teacher learning. Insights into teacher learning are useful for course lecturers, and recommendations are made to conduct further research into the teacher shift from practitioner to researcher.
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