Factors Influencing Teachers Conducting Action Research

A willingness on the part of the teacher researcher to risk the uncertainty associated with change is necessary. A commitment to continue (such as a concern for students) classroom research and the change process in the face of uncertainty is clearly important (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 431).

supportive environment (such as peer, collaboration) is important (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 431).

The importance of reflection on one's beliefs about teaching and learning is an important factor in understanding changes in practice that are initiated in the research process (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 431). Engaging in research can initiate disequilibrium as long-held beliefs about teaching and learning come into question (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 431).

The collegial interaction is also important in stimulating and supporting the research process. Discussing problems with other teachers at schools, peers in college class, professor provides teachers with wealth of potential solutions as well as the opportunity to examine changing beliefs in nonthreatening environments (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 431).

The teacher as researcher must come to understand that change takes place not only in the teacher, but in the other classroom participants as well. Students and teacher together must negotiate an understanding of what is intended by the change (Briscoe and Wells, 2002: 432).

Collaboration among teachers is important to conduct action research (Pedretti and Hodson, 1995: 478-479).

Each of the teachers joined the action research group because of their commitment to and interest in STS education (Pedretti and Hodson, 1995: 480).

Given opportunity to value teachers' knowledge can be crucial for conducting action research (Pedretti and Hodson, 1995: 480).

The structure of the school system, in particular, its bureaucracy, administrative procedures and values can combine to create and sustain an institutional climate that is not favorable to, or supportive of, change. There are many occasions when teachers are constrained from implementing a curriculum consistent with their personal beliefs about science and science education through lack of time, inadequate facilities, pressure of external examination, or class management problems arising from unsupportive administrative structures (Pedretti and Hodson, 1995: 481-482).

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