South African Journal of Education
On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
ROSSOUW, Daneel. Educators as action researchers: some key considerations. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.1, pp. 1-16. ISSN 2076-3433.
A characteristic of expert educators is their ability to interpret classroom activities critically, to identify and solve problems regarding their teaching practice, and to make thoughtful or reflective instructional and classroom management decisions that are conducive to learning. For educators to be efficacious, they should be active participants in the classroom and observers of the learning and teaching processes, assessing and interpreting the data forthcoming from the classroom and using that knowledge, together with more academic or public theory and research, as a basis for planning and decision-making. Action research provides educators with a strategy to enhance their reflective teaching practice, thereby sharpening their understanding of instruction and improving their instructional and classroom management skills, thus promoting educational change. In this article I discuss an action research model for educators to assist them in finding alternatives to current practice by gathering data and using the data to create meaning, which is then fed back into the system with a view to improved action. The proposed action research model is highly relevant to pre-service and in-service teacher training.
Keywords : action research; applied competences; decision-making in teaching; professional growth; reflection.