New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Implementing Participatory Action Research as a Tool to Progress Elementary Teacher Science Instruction

Sirinapa Kijkuakul, Naresuan University (Thailand)


According to science education reform in Thailand and the desire to find the way to promote pedagogical self-awareness of elementary science teachers had exposed the two-year research project that empowered the teachers in remote area to identify and critically reflect problems and needs they had in their teaching practices.  Adequately action research was implemented as systematic inquiry in order to reveal the teaching situations.  A spiral step of action research consisted of planning a change, acting and observing teaching process and consequences, and reflecting on the process and consequences.  As two school case studies, the action research was participated by members that included five elementary teachers, two school administrators, parents and the science educator. Data sources contained documents produced by the teachers and their students, classroom observations, audiotaped records of semi-structure interviews with the teachers and parent, and hand-written records of the school principals’ informal interviews.  Also, discourse analysis was designed to explore what the teachers personally thought about their teaching practices and then what problems they were aware of, and what they needed to change based on the participations.  Results of the research project indicate a movement of the teachers from passive tradition to critical reflection and self-confidence to make alternative teaching practices actively. In addition, the principals, the parent and the science educator as the school community energized the teachers to change. As recommendation of this research project, a teacher training program significantly needs collaboration between teacher and school community. This is for sustainable development of teacher profession.

Keywords: action research; science teacher; training; teaching; reflection;


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