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Issues of agency, discipline and criticality: an interplay of challenges involved in teachers engaging in research in a performative school context

Issues of agency, discipline and criticality: an interplay of challenges involved in teachers engaging in research in a performative school context

Lambirth, Andrew and Cabral, Ana (2016) Issues of agency, discipline and criticality: an interplay of challenges involved in teachers engaging in research in a performative school context. Educational Action Research, 25 (4). pp. 650-666. ISSN 0965-0792 (Print), 1747-5074 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2016.1218350)

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Abstract

While the engagement of teachers in research about practice is becoming a prevalent feature of professional learning and career development in the United Kingdom, there is still a lack of research about the challenges of teachers raising questions in the current school setting. Drawing on the principles of teacher research, this article reports on a small-scale study based on the experience of primary and secondary teachers conducting action research as part of a development project promoted by a school alliance with university researchers working as facilitators and conducting a study about teachers performing research. Interviews about their motivations, experience and perceived outcomes revealed a singular interplay of variables in uencing the way they engage in, use and share research and see themselves as researchers. We argue that management directives and contextual factors are in uencing the teachers’ engagement, with attitudes oscillating between their commitment to deal with assigned projects and pursuing issues emerging from practice. Moreover, entering a research community with its agreed practices and approaches was received with reluctance, with teachers struggling to embody an enquiring approach within their demanding professional lives. Nevertheless, according to the participants, action research allowed them to listen to the children’s voices, needs and interests, and inspired the adoption of a more systematic approach resulting in pedagogy shifts and gains in motivation, engagement and attainment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teacher researcher; Teaching school alliances; School– university partnership
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Primary Education
Faculty of Education & Health > Education Research Group
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 16:30
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16557

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