Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Lies Sercu
Section 2: Action research and teachers' professionalisation
Section 2 : Action research and teachers ' professionalisation Action research: professional development through enquiry 1 . Introduction Enrica Flamini , University of Aarhus Manuel J imenez Raya, University of Granada In the past, people leamt a given job and performed it in the same way and in the same organization throughout their l ifetime . With the rapid pace of change in contemporary society, knowledge and technical skil l s quickly become outmoded unless they are updated regularly. In education, teachers also face the need to take responsibil ity for self-development. They need to leam multiple competen cies to meet the ever-changing demands and roles . Schools and teachers need to be fast leamers and introduce innovation to respond to the ever-increasing di verse body of students . In addition, research has shown that top-down profes sional development has been largely ineffective in bringing about substantial changes in c\assroom practice (Fullan, 1 982 ; Leithwood, Begley & Cousins, 1 994). S imultaneously, there have been repeated appeals for the need to recog nize the central role of the teacher in bringing about innovation in teaching (Ful lan, 1 993 ; Hargreaves, 1 994). Efforts to change practice for the better require merging diverse self- interests in support of common educational goals and val ues. Teacher education is not geared toward continuous leaming. There is a press ing need to change the s ituation . To this end, teacher education must take the initiative to produce teachers who are agents of educational change and im provement. Teacher education programmes...
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