ERIC Number: ED394272
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Dec
The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same: Or Why Action Research Doesn't Work.
This paper proposes that despite the anticipated benefits of classroom research for improved instruction, there are identifiable factors that can interfere with its effectiveness. Examples are drawn from three research projects, undertaken in English-as-a-Second-Language instructional settings. First, the steps in the classroom research process are outlined. Then for each case, the evolution of the project is described, problems are noted, and attempts to remedy them are examined. The cases involved professional development projects for secondary and postsecondary language teachers. It is concluded that in each instance, some of these things happened to prevent change: (1) teachers were not given recognition or time off for doing research; (2) the agenda was controlled by the administration; (3) the agenda was subverted from within by teachers who wanted to bolster their own position within the political context in which they worked; (4) teachers lacked the technical skill and knowledge to conceptualize and operationalize their research interests; and (5) doing research got in the way of teaching; (6) there was a secondary agenda concerning curriculum development; and (7) teachers feared that involvement in classroom research would be used against them. A series of recommendations is made for maximizing chances of success. (MSE)
Descriptors: Action Research, Case Studies, Change Strategies, Classroom Research, Classroom Techniques, Educational Change, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Instructional Improvement, Postsecondary Education, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Second Language Instruction, Secondary Education, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Institute of Language in Education (Hong Kong, December 1994).