Academic journal article International Journal of Action Research

Action Research and Teacher Education: The Use of Research in a Classroom for the Transformation of Reality

Academic journal article International Journal of Action Research

Action Research and Teacher Education: The Use of Research in a Classroom for the Transformation of Reality

Article excerpt


The use of research in teacher education has the potential to promote the transformation of reality as it challenges us to think right, an attitude that Paulo Freire (2014) associates with thinking about, in other words, the process of reflection on the practice from the gradual overcoming of naive consciousness, towards the critical and epistemological consciousness.

The formative process triggered by the adoption of research in the classroom as teaching methodology moves the teaching trajectory and the school experience with possibilities to develop, respectively, research on the teacher and research on the student, precepts defended by Pedro Demo.

By means of the investigative skills offered by the presence of research as an educational principle in the school, both teachers and students are involved in a posture of openness to the construction of knowledge and the constitution of knowledge, based on the analysed realities, whether they are those that refer to the phenomena of daily life, or those related to the cultural and scientific legacy historically built by humanity. In addition, the problematic and unhappy posture in relation to victimising, blaming and immobilising images covered in cultures of complaint (Stecanela 2018), which commonly cross-link the pedagogical relationship, can give other contours to contemporary teaching practices and experiences.

The use of research in the classroom as a pedagogical tool can awaken students' interests in investigating problems of the context in which they are inserted, leading to a polarised education with social demands (Deboer 2006; Alake-Tuenter et al., 2012). The cultivation of students' concerns signals an educational process in which the knowledge base already built acts as an input to problematise the investigation context, formulate problems and research hypotheses towards the construction of new knowledge. And action research is imperative in this formative process, because it allows teachers in training, as well as teacher educators, the constant and systematic opportunity to reflect, implement and improve teaching practice in praxis (Tripp 2005).

Faced with this threshold, some questions emerge: To what extent do the teachers' conceptions of the challenges that accompany the contemporary school influence their ways of perceiving and intervening in the daily practice of teaching? How can we give visibility to the affirmative practices carried out inside the school and, often, silenced by the fanfare of the discourses of reproduction of the moaning that paralyses the possibilities of the transformation of reality? How can we involve the group of teachers of the school in the reflection on the practice itself, in order to contemplate the advances and to overcome the evidenced needs? Drawing from these questions and a set of other questions that were part of the process that triggered the education and the investigation, this text seeks to systematise some results.

The research described here is the result of a partnership between the University of Caxias do Sul (UCS) and the Education Department of a municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, for an extension course for teachers of Basic Education, lasting 40 hours. The object of the course involved the use of research in the classroom as a pedagogical tool, which was developed in an action research perspective, aiming at the development of investigative skills on everyday life, where the initial focus was the reresearch on the teacher in order to, in a second phase1, involve the research on the student.

The theoretical interlocution is established with the concepts of research as an educational principle, action research in the education of teachers, as well as the concepts of reception and appropriation developed by Roger Chartier to understand how teachers use the content of education in their teaching practices, and to what extent the movement of research routes contributes to overcoming what they consider to be the school's greatest challenges. …

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