Using action research to shape dynamic learning networks for future teachers: The role of their initial education at the University.

Eleni Katsarou
Assistant Professor, University of Crete
Vassilis Tsafos
Lecturer, University of Athens

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss: a) how we organized a University seminar on action research for students – future teachers and b) the research conducted in the context of this seminar, on how the teaching of educational action research can be organized at the University. Thus, in the first part of the paper we describe the action research seminar we organized. The seminar aimed to help students familiarise themselves with approaching the educational act as researchers, both in terms of design and regarding its implementation and assessment, by having students conduct action research in small groups at collaborating schools. The educators functioned as facilitators, aiming to encourage students to reflect on their teaching sessions. They attempted to strike a balance between support and challenge, regulation and emancipation. In the second part of the paper, we focus on the research conducted by the educators themselves. Their basic research question was: To which degree is it possible for the university education of future teachers to create the stimuli necessary for their future dynamic professional development? Throughout the seminar, educators engaged in an action research process aiming to investigate the possibility of familiarizing future teachers with action research and its role in their professional development, as well as to offer a proposal for teaching action research in higher education.

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