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Title: Collaborative action research as a means of professional development for English teachers in Indonesia
Author: Thamrin, Mukrim
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 3526
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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This study investigates how four EFL teachers in a state junior high school in provincial Indonesia perceived their engagement in a Collaborative Action Research project (CAR) with me,the external collaborator; how they viewed the support gained from both their schools and the external collaborators; and how their engagement in a CAR partnership with me affected their motivation to continue developing professionally. Some literature on language teachers' professional development (PD) has recognised CAR partnership between a University-based researcher and teachers (CAR-U), whether individuals or in teams, as a PD tool that can help to improve their practices and students' learning achievement (e.g., Atay, 2006; Chou, 2011; Wang & Zhang, 2014). Indonesia presents an interesting context for assessing the value of CAR-U because the current government policy of linking action research to career progression has not been successful in promoting teachers' engagement in research, or in improving their teaching practice. Employing a qualitative multiple-case study method, the data were generated through three-stage interviews with four participants, classroom observations, documents, audio recordings and photographs, over a period of six months. Adopting a CAR framework, I worked with participants on three different classroom projects. Two of the CAR-U projects dealt with the students' learning motivation while the other addressed the students' reticence to speak English. The results suggest that, first, CAR-U was conceived by the participants as a relatively practical form of PD, since it had a meaningful impact on both their teaching practices and their students' English learning. Second, it became clear that the participants had limited support from the school managers while engaging in CAR-U. However, the participants valued the tangible and intangible support from the external collaborator, which, I argue, was a key factor in establishing successful CAR-U and helped to motivate them to engage in CAR projects. Third, engagement in the CAR-U project had little apparent impact on the participants' motivation to continue developing professionally either through further research engagement with their colleagues (e.g., CAR-T) or other collegial learning activities. Nevertheless, CAR-U engagement seemed to make the participants more reflective in their teaching and continue practising the effective teaching strategies utilised in the CAR-U projects. This study proposes that a CAR partnership involving school teachers and university teacher educators could improve the PD model promoted by the Indonesian government and achieve a more transformative impact on teachers' practice. To achieve this end, the study recommends several policies and strategies that can be carried out by the government and schools.
Supervisor: Lamb, Martin ; Hanks, Judith Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available