Harnessing the power of action research in schools
With so many changes occurring in 21st century education, it can be challenging for teachers to keep abreast of the latest trends – and even more challenging to establish whether or not these changes actually make a difference in the classroom. Action research enables teachers to pick up the threads of these trends and weave them into their own classrooms (Ferrance 2016), then gather data to reflect critically as to whether or not these changes are working. Deep professional learning occurs through implementing the cycle of Look, Think, Act, Reflect (Stringer 2014), encouraging teachers to model vital skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, agility and adaptability, and analysing information.
This workshop examines the challenges and benefits of practitioner research, rooted in Margot’s years of experience in co-ordinating the International Boys’ Schools Coalition global action research programme. This program enables teachers from around the world to work together collaboratively on developing action research projects in their own schools. There are currently 54 teachers involved in the program, from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.
Margot is an English teacher by trade, and has taught across grades in different schools, from Year 7 to Year 12. She holds the post of Second Mistress – Academics and Staff Learning at St John’s in Johannesburg.
She has been involved in the International Boys’ Schools Coalition Global Action Research Program for over 12 years, and was appointed the Co-ordinator of the program in June 2016. Together with four team advisors from different countries around the world, she runs an action research program for educators from the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and several others.