by Pinelopi Zaka (email@example.com, @paz11uc)
With the beginning of the new school year down under, teachers set their own new goals and many decide to apply some new strategies. For some this might involve using ICT and perhaps trying out blended online approaches that combine both online and face-to-face teaching and learning. In New Zealand and worldwide blended education is a fast developing area that is expected to continue growing, especially in kiwi schools with the rollout of UFB. This is an exciting opportunity to experiment with new tools and approaches, but also to motivate teachers to take one step further and investigate how they and their students experience the whole process, through research. Here are some of the reasons:
- Knowing yourself! Through the process of researching your own class you wear two hats – that of the teacher and that of the researcher. This twofold role helps you to continuously self-reflect on what you are doing as a teacher and why you are doing it.
- Knowing your students! Similarly to knowing yourself, through research you investigate your context in a more systematic way. You collect and analyse your data from your students, either through interviews, surveys or observations in a thoroughly designed way, preferably informed by the literature and other studies looking into similar topics.
- Improving your teaching! While you research your class you collect lots of evidence regarding the success or not of your approaches. It is an ongoing process where, at any stage, you can adapt your practices, change your approaches, use different tools or do anything else that you think might improve your students’ experience.
- Sharing your results and your learning journey! Nobody can deny how great the feeling of sharing is. Learning about what other teachers did, how they did it and what the results were is always interesting for educators who want to improve students’ learning experiences. A presentation at your school’s staffroom, a poster at a conference, or even better a published article in a research journal, are a few ways to communicate your class story to inspire others and contribute to the body of knowledge for the improvement of teaching and learning. Even if you think that your results are not that impressive, the learning journey you went through and your growth as a teacher is something that is definitely worth sharing!
- Photo by Jonathan_W
- Educators sharing their stories through the CORE Education community
- Educators publishing their research in Computers in New Zealand Schools: Learning, Teaching, Technology
- New Zealand Council for Educational Research
- Enabling e-Learning - Research and Readings
- Riel, M. (2010). Understanding Action Research, Center For Collaborative Action Research. Pepperdine University