Passionate Enquiry and School Development: A Story about Teacher Action Research

Passionate Enquiry and School Development: A Story about Teacher Action Research

Passionate Enquiry and School Development: A Story about Teacher Action Research

Passionate Enquiry and School Development: A Story about Teacher Action Research


"The main feature of this book is a case story of a teacher action researcher, Vicki, undertaking research in her own school as part of an Advanced Diploma course. The second important feature is this study grew out of Dr. Dadds' own action research on her in-service course with a group of primary and middle school teachers which included Vicki. The case story examines Vicki's three action research studies in turn; how they related to her work in the school; how she did her research; what problems she had to encounter; how she felt about her research and the people involved in it; what impact the research had on her feelings and ideas; and, what were some of the outcomes. Dr. Dadds has written a rare case story of the realities of doing part-time action research in school and in doing so challenges and develops some of the existing theoretical positions on action research. She offers original insights into: the subjective and emotional dimensions of doing action research; the effects of government educational reform on teacher action research in school; and, the relationship between development through the medium of action research. Little so far has been written of the processes by which teacher's action research projects become part of the life of a developing school." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


To be an agent is to have the capability of making a difference; of intervening in the world so as to influence events which occur in that world. To be a human agent is to be a highly knowledgeable and skilled individual, who applies that knowledgeability in securing autonomy of action in the course of day-to-day life. (Giddens, 1982, p. 212)

Biographical Glimpses

Vicki started her teaching career in the late 1960s. Her first post lasted for three years in a primary school for children 5-9-years-old. in her second post she taught for two years in a middle school for children 9-13. a full-time domestic life as wife and mother of two young children consumed her for the next seven years before she returned to teaching. Now she took up a full-time post at Springfield School where she had full class teaching responsibilities. She was also Coordinator of the Humanities Curriculum throughout the school. During her fifth year at Springfield she applied successfully for a place on the in-service Advanced Diploma course at the Cambridge Institute of Education.

An autobiographical introduction to her third and final action research report on gender in education gives a partial, but illuminating, glimpse into her past. Here was a woman from an intelligent but educationally underdeveloped respectable middle class background. Her parents were aware of, but unable to utilize, the benefits of formal education and professional development. Vicki wrote,

My father's own education and ambition was very much affected by pressures from home, social conditions and the implications of war. Although he achieved success in his chosen career, the lack of opportunity for further education was a source of deep disappointment to him.

Similarly, Vicki's mother suffered from lack of educational opportunities, a deprivation which was prevalent amongst women of her generation. of her mother, Vicki wrote,

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