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Title: Is action learning an effective means of implementing CPD in inquiry-based learning?
Author: Ng Cheuk Wing, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 539X
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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This study investigated to what extent was Action Learning CPD (Continuous Professional Development) Implementation was an effective method to facilitate teachers in carrying out Inquiry-Based Learning. As a kind of experiential learning cycle, Action Learning CPD assists teachers in understanding the effectiveness of conducting Inquiry-Based Learning. This learning approach aims at encouraging students to make their own inquiries and developing their independent learning capabilities throughout the process of doing projects. In this study, Action Learning CPD is for teachers' professional development and Inquiry-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning are for student learning. The investigation was conducted in the three phases of ORIENTATION, PROBLEM-CENTRED, and WRITE-UP AND CONSOLIDATION over one academic year. It was guided by three research questions: (a) Why secondary school teachers need. CPD in conducting Inquiry-Based Learning? (b) Why Action learning might be a suitable CPD method for teachers to develop, implement and evaluate a student-oriented Inquiry-Based curriculum? (c) What are the implications for CPD found through investigating the implementation of Action Learning in conducting Inquiry-Based Learning? Since the main focus was to explore the extent to which teachers and students had changed in their perception and experience of Inquiry-Based Learning during and after Action Learning CPD Implementation, their perception and experience in developing, implementing and evaluating Inquiry-Based curricula were examined throughout the Action Learning Cycle of Experience-Understanding-Planning-Action, with reference to the pretest posttest comparisons of interviews and questionnaires evaluating both students and teachers' experiences during the Cycle. This study of school cases was also cyclical that observational data were collected throughout the one-year school-based support (09-10), with the researcher reflecting on it and making changes during the year. The data were classroom observations; year plans, records of meeting (agenda, minutes, and school visit reports) between her and individual teacher team; documents prepared by schools or co-developed with the officer (the said researcher) (e.g. curricula, teaching materials, assessment rubrics); samples of students' assignments; samples of documented teacher reflections in meetings and after workshops. A total number of 20 teachers and 317 students participated in this study. In the phase of ORIENTATION, there were three major pretest findings found in pre-CPD practice of conducting Inquiry-Based curricula: (a) - the segregation of Inquiry-Based Learning from the school-based curricula when developing the curricula; (b) in implementing the curricula - the lack of understanding of Inquiry-Based Learning as a learning process; and (c) in evaluating the curricula - the absence of educative purpose in using assessment rubrics for student learning process. Furthermore, there were significant discrepancies between teachers' and students' in their perceptions of Inquiry-Based Learning and discrepancies between teachers' ideology and practices of Inquiry-Based Learning. In the phase of PROBLEM-CENTRED where Inquiry Based learning took place, Action Learning CPD Implementation was therefore adopted: (a) to develop curricula with more focused study areas and conceptual frameworks; (b) to implement in class the learning objectives of concept formation, inquiry goal formulation, and textual inquiry; and (c) to evaluate curricula with educative assessment rubrics and students' self-assesment mechanism. In the WRITE-UP AND CONSOLIDATION phase where teachers and students and teachers finish and grade students' reports of their findings, the school teams and researcher concluded that: (a) curricula developed with more focused study areas and conceptual frameworks enabled students to construct knowledge and concepts; (b) curricula implemented in class with clear learning objectives enabled students to distinguish inquiry goals and collect and analyze information; and (c) curricula evaluated against prescribed learning outcomes enabled students to assess their own learning progress. It was evident that Action Learning Implementation would facilitate teachers in carrying out Inquiry-Based Learning but cautions were underscored in this study including cognitive overload, affective overload and time demands. The investigation shed light on how Action Learning could be implemented for future research in facilitating teacher teaching and student learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available