10 SES 08 E, Replication, Quality and Teacher As Researcher
Kosovo emerged as an independent country in 2008 from a post-communist environment. As part of its transitioning towards being established as a democracy and its path of joining the wider European family, Kosovo engaged in numerous public sector reforms. Education reform has been high on the agenda of the government in the last decade and a half. Teacher education reform has been at the core of the education reform and it has undergone continuous changes aiming at restructuring teacher education to best serve the needs for a better qualified workforce and democratic citizenship. The overall focus of the teacher education reform was characterized by the movement of raising standards to lead to increase of quality of teachers. There has been a number of reform projects including an EU funded project “Modernizing teacher education at the University of Prishtina” under the TEMPUS program implemented in 2013-2017. The project introduced a new model of teacher education with the aim of responding to national policy on increasing standards of teacher education and introducing the concept of teacher as researcher. As a measure, a requirement for all teachers to undertake Master level studies in education was introduced.
The challenge appears to be though that raising standards of teacher qualification does not necessarily lead to the desired outcome. The context in which this activity takes place is of great relevance and the ways the elements of the context impose challenges to the desired outcomes is equally relevant. This research looks at understanding the contextual challenge of introducing the concept of teacher as researcher given the objectives of developing research skills and enacting those in classroom settings.
More specifically, the study will aim to answer the following research question:
In what ways does the context influence the development of teacher as researcher?
The following sub questions are used to guide the research:
- In what ways is the context influencing the development of the dispositions, knowledge and skills of teachers as researchers?
- Which are the main areas of tensions that need to be addressed in order to move beyond the movement of adopting higher standards of teacher qualifification?
The research was framed based on the second generation of Activity Theory (Engenstrom 2001), in combination with Korthagen (2004) levels of teacher change that can be grouped under the category of dispositions, knowledge, skills as well as agency. Looking at teacher research through Activity Theory perspective, this study directs the data analysis process towards looking at the input dimension, the tools for teacher development and processes student teachers are engaged in, as well as the broader social context in which teacher education occurs. Furthermore, the understanding of data will be cross-analyzed against the dispositions, knowledge, skills and agency that is required to enhance the professionalism of teachers, more specifically the development of teacher as researcher. This will enable the identification of the areas of tension that hinder the development of teacher as researcher in its full meaning.
Engenstrom, Y. (2001). Expansive Learning at Work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of Education and Work. Vol 14, No. 1 Korthagen, F. A. J. (2004). In search of the essence of a good teacher: Towards a more holistic approach in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20, 77-97.
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