Classroom research: A defining feature of professional practice

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Title: Classroom research: A defining feature of professional practice
Author: Singh, Vashti
Abstract: Classroom research, teaching, and professional development are closely linked. Their interrelation and interconnectedness may be described as axiomatic. In addressing the question: Why classroom research by teachers?, a range of issues emerges from topics such as classroom practice, social context, curriculum knowledge, professional learning, and the usefulness of research. This paper urges that teachers who are committed to their own professional practice seek to expand their knowledge and adapt their teaching to educationally sound delivery, arising from authentic classroom research. In the Caribbean, the teacher's claim to professionalism sometimes falters in this regard. A significant issue is that teachers need to be increasingly effective in enabling culturally diverse groups of students to learn increasingly complex subjects. This includes aspects of pedagogical content knowledge that incorporate culture and community contexts for learning. Simultaneously, teachers ought to reflect on their practice to learn from and improve upon it continually. This paper focuses on three themes that explore the concept of classroom research by teachers. The first establishes the link between classroom research and the teacher professional. The second evaluates curriculum and the teaching/learning process as the focus of classroom research, and the third discusses problems in the traditional research paradigm for guiding teachers to improve their teaching. The paper concludes with a reflection on the nature of classroom research itself and its relevance for teachers' professional development within the Caribbean context
Date: 2008

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