Abstract:

TOWARDS A THEORY OF A PROFESSIONAL TEACHER VOICE

How can I improve my teaching of pupils with specific learning difficulties in the area of language?

Caitriona McDonagh

The wording of my research question shows a new focus in dealing with pupils with specific learning difficulties in language. During my research, I came to understand the need to study teacher practice in order to encourage learning by such pupils. I researched a conversational test, which focused on language usage, to identify pupil needs. Through this test, I developed a useful screening procedure for teachers, and listed conversational behaviours indicating a specific learning difficulty in the area of language. Next, I addressed pupils' identified needs in individual and class lessons. I developed useful strategies as I investigated the adaptation of my teaching to facilitate these pupils' needs. My experiences led me to question the assumptions in the literature on specific learning difficulties in language. These uncertainties caused me to probe my own previous assumptions in my own thinking. The progression in my own thinking matched the progression in my practice. Through reflection on my practice, I came to recognise and articulate my personal values around education. I discovered that my teaching style conflicted with these values at times. I developed ideas on the relationship between teaching style and pupils' learning capacity, which informed my choice of a critical theoretical action research methodology. In coming to this choice, I described changes in my own thinking processes and movement towards increasing forms of awareness and openness in thought and action. I found this methodology created a context of discovery and ways to move forward. This research was intended to improve pupils' learning but it also recounts my own learning. I discovered that I came to understand educational theory by developing my own theory of education. The collegial learning on the MA course of study, which I experienced, was empowering. My colleagues and I proposed changes in a spirit of community and support. This research has given us a voice and method to articulate our theories now and in the future.

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VALUE AND VIRTUE IN PRACTICE-BASED RESEARCH (2013) EDITED BY JEAN MCNIFF, DORSET, SEPTEMBER BOOKS.

THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD. 

JEAN MCNIFF'S (2010) ACTION RESEARCH FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: CONCISE ADVICE FOR NEW (AND EXPERIENCED) ACTION RESEARCHERS. DORSET, SEPTEMBER BOOKS. PLEASE GO TO WWW.SEPTEMBER-BOOKS.COM FOR FURTHER INFORMATION. 

THIS BOOK IS A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION AND HAS LOTS OF EXAMPLES, EXERCISES AND REALLY PRACTICAL ADVICE THAT ENGAGES WITH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ACTION RESEARCH. IT GIVES A CONCISE THEORETICAL OVERVIEW FOR ACTION RESEARCH AS WELL AS OUTLINING ITS HISTORICAL ROOTS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!

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Conferences

 

Read about the Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research conference at York St John University, Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th June 2015. Go to www.yorksj.ac.uk/value&virtue for further information.
Keynote speakers: Dr Tina Cook, Northumbria University

Professor Carol Munn-Giddings, Anglia Ruskin University


Professor Julian Stern, York St John University


Professor Jean McNiff, York St John University

 

 

 

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