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Title: Developing Development Studies through action research : A study of collaborative and reflective classroom practice in Lesotho
Author: Stuart, J. S.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1987
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The study explores aspects of teaching and learning Development Studies (social studies) In Lesotho, mainly In lower secondary schools. The current situation of Lesotho and Its education system are briefly described, with an account of the Introduction of Development Studies. The literature on Action Research Is reviewed, together with the work of Sch6n and Argyrls on professional learning, and some themes In research and Innovation In developing countries are discussed. Four Interrelated aspects of the study are described and IIlustrated, together with the research methods used. The core was a collaborative action research project undertaken with 5 Basotho teachers and their classes, In which the teachers selected aspects of their own teaching for Investigation, experimenting with new classroom methods and evaluating their effects. The researcher acted as consultant to the team, whl Ie monitoring and reflecting on the process of consultancy. Concurrently she carried out an observational study of typical teaching-learning processes In 15 other Development Studies classes, and then undertook a sma II action research project Into the teaching of thinking ski IIs. It was found that Development Studies lessons were commonly teacher-centred and didactic, with little pupl I participation and low levels of cognitive ski II. When the teacher-researchers Introduced pupl I-centred, activity-based methods, they found It possible to Increase participation, encourage an open view of knowledge, and make pupl Is more Independent. The level of cognitive skll Is could be raised by deliberate challenge and by Instruction In study skll Is. However, rather than stating firm conclusions, the team has set out a series of propositions for teachers to test further. It Is argued that the process of action research helped the teachers to develop as "reflective practitioners", acquiring Insights Into their own teaching and becoming capable of self-generated growth. Peer support and the various roles played by consultants both appeared Important. It Is concluded that, as wei I as producing practical suggestions for teachers, action research can be a useful and appropriate method of professional development In a developing country, though a supportive Infrastructure Is necessary where the professional ml Ileu Is underdeveloped. The Implications for educational research, teacher education, and INSET are discussed, and recommendations made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Teaching social studies