This book describes the action research undertaken by teachers at the Azim Premji School in Dineshpur, Uttarakhand, guided by facilitators from the Azim Premji Foundation. Teachers with varying lengths of experience took a fresh look at their teaching practices, examined and identified specific problems that they faced, and succeeded in addressing many of these problems.
Consisting of teachers’ documentation of their action research, classroom observations and facilitators' notes, the book also analyses the case studies against the backdrop of the research of pioneers such as John Dewey and Donald Schon. The work presented here can enable the emergence of the reflective practitioner in teachers and empower them to channelise this reflection into action by continuously re-examining their own teaching practices.
Section I Background
1. Reflection and Action Research: What, Why, How?
Ways of Enhancing Reflection
What is Action Research?
Steps in Action Research
Why was Action Research Chosen as a Method to Work With the Teachers?
Action Research and Teacher Development
How Objective and/or Rigorous Can Such a Study Be?
What is Meant by Reflective Practice?
Can Action Research be Used to Promote Reflective Practice?
Reflective Practice and Teacher Development
2. The Unfurling
Aim of the Study
School Where the Study Took Place
Genesis of this Action Research Study
Design and Rationale of the Study
Facilitation of Action Research
Objective of the Study
3. Teacher Snapshots
Choice of Profession
Investment in Professional Development
Individual Efforts to Learn More and Stay Up-to-Date
Views on/Beliefs about Teaching and Learning
Specific Observations by Teachers
Teacher as a Reflective Practitioner
4. In the Classroom
Section II Narratives
2. Enhancing English Vocabulary and Reading Abilities
3. Teaching Children ‘How We See’
4. Teaching Environmental Studies to Children Who Cannot Read and Write the Language
5. Enhancing Competency in Reading and Writing the Hindi Alphabet and Words
Quantitative Data Collected During Action Research
6. Developing Scientific Temper in Students
7. Enabling Children to Recognise Letters and Read
8. Ensuring Understanding of Place Value up to 3-digit Numbers
Section III Analysis and Conclusion
1. Action Research and Reflections of Teachers
Did the Reflective Practitioner Truly Emerge from Within these Teachers?
Did a Teacher’s Length of Teaching Experience Help or Hinder in Reflecting Through Action Research?
2. Reflection on Reflection-in-action
Changed Lesson Plans
Summary of Teachers’ Action Research
Limitations of this Study
Has Reflective Practice been Sustained in this School After the Study Ended?
Guidelines for Conducting Similar Action Research
Action Research Template
Neeraja Raghavan, is former Professor, Azim Premji University and an Education Consultant. Neeraja Raghavan has a doctorate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University, USA and is currently a Professor at Azim Premji University. She has been working with Azim Premji Foundation for the last seven years, mainly in the field of Science teacher education, pedagogy and curriculum development. She co-edited Alternative Schooling in India (Sage Publications, 2007) and Childhood Regained, a book on children rescued from child labour (Hand In Hand, Tamil Nadu, 2007). She has also written three other books, Curiouser & Curiouser (Full Circle 2003), I Wonder Why (CBT, 2004) and I Wonder How (CBT, 2006). Her research interests currently focus on teacher development through reflective practice.
Vineeta Sood has an M. Phil in Zoology and an M.Ed. Her main interest is in the human aspect of education with a focus on the development of the child, the teacher and the parents as human beings. Vineeta has worked in the field of alternative education for many years.