Sustaining teacher engagement in practitioner research

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Abstract

This study of nine Primary School teachers of Religious Education (RE) analyses the benefits of their engagement in practitioner research (PR) and shows how that engagement can be sustained. We demonstrate the importance of enhancing the social dimension of learning through forming a community-of-practice (CoP) that enables participants to gain confidence and engage in democratic dialogue. The CoP in our project was sustained because teachers built trust with each other, were willing to talk openly about their practices and, through their common commitment to RE, contributed to the knowledge base of teaching. We conclude that engaging teachers in PR can create positive changes for schools because knowledge, interrogated by critical reflection, will be rooted in teachers’ professional understanding of the processes of teaching and learning. Further, that communities-of-practice, as social learning environments, assist in sustaining teachers’ engagement in PR by creating opportunities for teachers’ collaborative critical reflection on their taken-for-granted professional practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Early online date27 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jul 2021

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