The Educational Action Research and the Teacher

John Elliott,
Emeritus Professor of Education,
Centre for Applied Research in Education, University of East Anglia, UK.

Educational Action Research involves teachers making and creating educationally worthwhile changes in their classrooms and other learning environments. If teachers believe that they are mere functionaries in the educational system and have little control over what students learn and how they learn it, they will see themselves as technicians implementing a learning system prescribed by external authority. In order to do action research, teachers must be open to the possibility that there is space in their practical situation for them to make and create educationally worthwhile change. Discerning where these spaces are - these opportunities for action in a practical situation – is an important part of the action research process. Making and creating educational change involves teachers in developing their situational understanding. In the process their taken-for-granted practical knowledge is frequently challenged. 

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