Action research as a tool of professional development of advisers and teachers in Croatia

Tim Cain, Sanja Milovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

On its accession path to membership of the European Union, Croatia recognises the need to transform its educational system, and throughout the system, professionals recognise the need to acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies. This paper reports on a capacity building programme in which 18 senior advisors from different regions in Croatia developed action research projects in schools. The paper outlines the context of the programme, describes the programme itself, and presents case studies of the advisers’ action research projects. Analysis of cases and evaluation data shows that action research was used by advisers, supporting teachers, to effect change in schools. The principles of action research were generally understood, and produced evidence of practical change, collaboration and mutual understanding. Although action research is generally understood as a ‘grassroots movement’ this report suggests that action research can lead to desirable change, even when imported into schools. Thus action research might hold one answer to the question, how to promote life-long learning among teaching professionals in ways that are beneficial to them as individuals and in teams.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
JournalEuropean Journal of Teacher Education
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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Croatia
action research
teacher
research project
school
educational system
data analysis
Teaching
knowledge
learning
evidence

Keywords

  • Action research
  • professional development
  • teachers

Cite this

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title = "Action research as a tool of professional development of advisers and teachers in Croatia",
abstract = "On its accession path to membership of the European Union, Croatia recognises the need to transform its educational system, and throughout the system, professionals recognise the need to acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies. This paper reports on a capacity building programme in which 18 senior advisors from different regions in Croatia developed action research projects in schools. The paper outlines the context of the programme, describes the programme itself, and presents case studies of the advisers’ action research projects. Analysis of cases and evaluation data shows that action research was used by advisers, supporting teachers, to effect change in schools. The principles of action research were generally understood, and produced evidence of practical change, collaboration and mutual understanding. Although action research is generally understood as a ‘grassroots movement’ this report suggests that action research can lead to desirable change, even when imported into schools. Thus action research might hold one answer to the question, how to promote life-long learning among teaching professionals in ways that are beneficial to them as individuals and in teams.",
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note = "Avison, D., Lau, F., Myers, M. and Nielsen, P. A. (1999) Action research. Available online at: www.cs.vu.nl/~gordijn/QRM/lib/CACM-Action{\%}20Research-Avison-Jan1999 (accessed 28 January 2009). Bartlett, S. & Burton, D. (2006) Practitioner research or descriptions of classroom practice? A discussion of teachers investigating their classrooms, Educational Action Research, 14(3), 395-405. Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986) Becoming critical: education, knowledge and action research (London, Falmer Press). Clayton, S. & O'Brien, M., with Burton, D., Campbell, A., Qualter, A., Varga-Atkins, T. (2008) I know its not “proper” research, but: how professionals understandings of research can frustrate its potential for CPD, Educational Action Research, 16(1), 73-84. Foster, P. (1999) ‘Never mind the quality, feel the impact’: a methodological assessment of teacher research sponsored by the teacher training agency, British Journal of Educational Studies, 47(4), 380-398. Furlong, J. & Salisbury, J. (2005) Best practice research scholarships: An evaluation, Research Papers in Education, 20(1),45-83. Haggarty, L. & Postlethwaite, K. (2003) Action research: a strategy for teacher change and school development? Oxford Review of Education, 29(4), 423-448. Heron, J., & Reason, P. (1997). A Participatory Inquiry Paradigm, Qualitative Inquiry, 3(3), 274-294. McNiff, J. (1997) Action research for professional development: concise advice for new action researchers. Available online at: www.jeanmcniff.com/booklet1.html (accessed 5 November 2008). Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2005) Education Sector Development Plan 2005-2010. Available online at: http://public.mzos.hr/Default.aspx?sec=3135 (accessed 30 Jaunary 2009). Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2007) Strategy for the construction and development of the National Curriculum for Preschool Education, General Compulsory and Secondary School Education. Available online at: http://public.mzos.hr/Default.aspx?sec=3135 (accessed 30 Jaunary 2009). Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2008a) Državni pedagoški standardi osnovnoškolskog sustava odgoja i obrazovanja. Available online at: http://public.mzos.hr/Default.aspx?sec=3135 (accessed 30 Jaunary 2009). Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia (2008b) Draft of the National Curriculum Framework on Preschool Education and General Compulsory Primary and Secondary School Education. Available online at: http://public.mzos.hr/Default.aspx?art=9078 (accessed 30 Jaunary 2009). Ormell, C. (2000) Can Action research rebut charges of intrinsic subjectivity and subversity? Prospero, 6, 111-121. Russell, B. (1912) The Problems of Philosophy (Oxford, Oxford University Press). Somekh, B. (2006) Action Research: A Methodology for Change and Development. (Maidenhead, Open University Press). Vican D., Bognar L., Previšić V. (2007) Hrvatski nacionalni kurukulm. In: V. Previšić, (ur), Kurikulum: teorije – metodologija – sadržaj – struktura. (Zagreb, Školska knjiga, Zavod za pedagogiju). Whitehead, J. (1999) Educative Relations in a New Era, Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 7(1), 73-90. Zeichner, K.M. (2003) Teacher research as professional development for P-12 educators in the USA, Educational Action Research, 11(2), 301-325.",
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Action research as a tool of professional development of advisers and teachers in Croatia. / Cain, Tim; Milovic, Sanja.

In: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2010, p. 19-30.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Milovic, Sanja

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AB - On its accession path to membership of the European Union, Croatia recognises the need to transform its educational system, and throughout the system, professionals recognise the need to acquire new knowledge, skills and competencies. This paper reports on a capacity building programme in which 18 senior advisors from different regions in Croatia developed action research projects in schools. The paper outlines the context of the programme, describes the programme itself, and presents case studies of the advisers’ action research projects. Analysis of cases and evaluation data shows that action research was used by advisers, supporting teachers, to effect change in schools. The principles of action research were generally understood, and produced evidence of practical change, collaboration and mutual understanding. Although action research is generally understood as a ‘grassroots movement’ this report suggests that action research can lead to desirable change, even when imported into schools. Thus action research might hold one answer to the question, how to promote life-long learning among teaching professionals in ways that are beneficial to them as individuals and in teams.

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