ERIC Number: ED438260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Feb-15
What Do Teachers Believe about Action Research as a Mechanism for Change?
Neapolitan, Jane E.
This study examined the beliefs of 21 experienced teachers who implemented individual action research projects as part of a graduate degree program in teacher leadership, focusing on the extent to which they believed that action research is a viable mechanism for change. Participants consisted of primary, middle, secondary, postsecondary, and community youth educators ranging in age from 28-53 years with 3-20 years of teaching experience. Descriptive data for the study were drawn from a 20-item survey that asked teachers to describe what they believed were the effects of their action research projects on themselves, their students, other teachers, and the education community. They also described steps that could be taken to make action research a mechanism for change on a large scale. Results showed that teachers believed engaging in action research helps them grow personally and professionally and enables them to influence other teachers toward improving curriculum and instruction. Although action research is compatible with the current emphasis on reflective practice and professional development, certain barriers do exist. These include lack of widespread understanding of action research by the education community, lack of restructured work time, and persistence of traditional teaching approaches. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (Orlando, FL, February 12-16, 2000).