Understanding the teaching and learning practice: A case of working across paradigm(s)
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
This action research journey leads into the process of pedagogical practices of schoolteachers and attempts to portray the process of change of pedagogical practices of schoolteachers. This journey shows the process of pedagogical changes in schoolteachers, beginning from the technical, and moving gradually towards using elements of the nontechnical paradigm. To reach to the roots of the schoolteachers' practices, the action researcher and the schoolteachers, both worked hard, and contributed their own understandings and actions in the classroom teaching process. The struggle with articulating their actions was profound, and the action researcher and the schoolteachers showed their will to sit for reflective conversations and for defining the causes for a schoolteacher's actions. The elements of keeping a reflective journal, sharing initial ideas and beginning to question own actions started to appear on the surface as the action researcher and teachers got closer to each other and began to trust each other. The process of action research, a cyclic process, shows the dilemmas of the action researcher and how s/he moved to work together with the schoolteachers. The action researcher soon realized that the process of action research was messier then it had been portrayed in many papers. The passion to understand the ground realities and to reach to the roots of those realities, made the action researcher decide to explore further avenues of schoolteachers' work. These passions led the action researcher towards more problem solving activities, taking the researcher away from the main point of research. The work with the schoolteachers also seemed complex and varied due to individual differences. For instance, Zuhal, an experienced teacher, showed strong resistance to being questioned about her pedagogical practices. Nonetheless, the action researcher believed that Zuhal was a committed teacher and that there were many other reasons that pushed Zuhal to be reserved about her pedagogical actions. Realizing that Zuhal was more inclined towards administration activities, the action researcher showed an understanding towards these inclinations. At a later stage, Zuhal showed spectacular interest in collaboration and j planning, and even attempted to question the action researcher about the lesson planning, and helped in identifying pedagogical methods. Mushtari, on the other hand, used all the advantages from the action research process and periodically shared her reflections, and justified her pedagogical actions in the classroom. The schoolteachers, in this study appeared to be courageous, caring and reflective teachers. Each of them had an interest in their subject, and their own teaching practices, and the most important element was that they did not rely on the action researcher much. They realized that work had to be done independently, and that each of them was responsible for their teaching and learning process. Finally, the action research process shows the comprehensive work of the action researcher, along with Zuhal and Mushtari, for developing professionalism in their pedagogical actions, and making the teaching and learning process more meaningful and approachable for students.
Davlatshoeva, A. (2003). Understanding the teaching and learning practice: A case of working across paradigm(s) (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.