Exploring Teachers' Beliefs About Teacher Research

Ashour, Subhi (2012). Exploring Teachers' Beliefs About Teacher Research. MRes thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f120

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore teachers’ beliefs and conceptions about teacher research in Syrian tertiary English language teaching contexts. Questionnaires, follow-up interviews and written follow-up were used to collect the data. This research serves as an introductory study for further research on teachers’ beliefs and conceptions about research. 52 English language teachers participated in this study and the data was analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The main themes in this study were included in the questionnaire so these were used as bedrock where relevant data from interviews and written follow-up were collated to provide a deeper and more comprehensive account of the participants’ beliefs and practices concerning research and the impact of research on their teaching practices.

The findings revealed that the teachers have diverse conceptions of research. On the one hand, positivistic research was seen as the model of how research should be; however, on the other hand, a simpler version of research, called ‘informal research’, was practised instead. The research culture as captured in this study was shown to be not conducive to engagement in research due to administrative lack of support. In this regard, this study has considerable potential in the design for future research to more fully understand teachers’ beliefs and conceptions about research and their engagement/lack of engagement in research.

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