The uses of writing in action research


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Although very short, and limited, I felt that the Action Research project had helped me to go a long way towards dealing with the problems of mixed ability teaching, and that as a result, my teaching had improved. As a result of the project, I left my first TP school with a feeling a satisfaction which I would otherwise not have had: I had concrete evidence of an improvement in my teaching, and now felt more secure about an area which had previously been causing me many problems. (I think this needs firming up for a final draft, and it would have been helped if, as an integral part of the Report you could have given us extracts of your journal/log, which, you have told me, documents changes in perception as a result of your enquiry. This is the heart of Action Research - the coming to understand through practice (of which writing is a part) and reflection (of which writing is also a part) how you can enhance what you are doing. So such journal entries would constitute evidence, as they are the results of a development in perceptions over time ). I felt that by doing an Action Research project, a load had been lifted from my shoulders. Before starting it, I had spent endless hours contemplating my teaching practice, analysing every aspect of my teaching, but without actually dealing with anything. By identifying one specific area, I felt able to concentrate on this, and felt justified in pushing other aspects to one side for a moment. As a result my load was lightened. And, by identifying positive, concrete results, I felt more satisfied with myself and with my practice overall. (I think this point cannot be made often enough, Jayne. Action Research enables you to take control of your own practice and to develop at your own pace, and in ways which can genuinely improve the quality of your pupils’ learning. )
As a result of my involvement with Action Research, I have noticed that my mind has begun to work differently. I have developed a more constructive attitude towards self-criticism and have learnt how to limit my aims, making them more attainable. I feel that, in that sense, Action Research could have many applications outside of teaching.

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