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Title: An evaluation of the school based action research project : 'making science more challenging for gifted primary children'
Author: Coates, David
ISNI:       0000 0001 3559 3756
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis is a two part evaluation of an Action Research Project carried out in a primary school in southern England. The first part of the thesis investigates whether or not the action research project was successful and the second part looks at teachers' perceptions of action research as a method of professional development for teachers. The aim of the Action Research Project was to make science teaching more challenging for gifted children in all classes. Four teachers acted as teacher researchers who engaged in all aspects of the action research. Their colleagues, though not acting as researchers, supported the teacher researchers by being open to new ideas, trialling interventions designed to make their science teaching more challenging, and providing data to the teacher researchers so that they could assess the impact of the action research project. At the end of the Action Research Project science teaching had become more challenging across the school, but there had been a greater impact in the teacher researchers' classrooms. Data gathered from the teacher researchers indicated that they were very positive in their assessment of action research as a means of professional development as it integrated teaching with curriculum development, research and reflective practice. The thesis develops a model of professional development which has three inter linking and necessary components; external knowledge, creating knowledge and knowing-in-action. The model was formulated from experience gained when acting as a critical friend to the teacher researchers. Essentially, professional development aims at changing teachers' knowing-inaction. For professional development to be really effective and embedded in classroom practice, it needs to involve teachers in double-loop learning (in which teachers can utilise external knowledge to create their own knowledge). In this way both theory-in-use and espoused theory can be changed which in turn could have a long term impact on teachers' knowing-in-action.
Supervisor: Palacio, D. ; Geake, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral