Self-Study research as a teacher learning strategy in teacher education: Perceptions and experiences of master of education course participants at AKU-IED

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In response to current trends to center educational reforms on teacher development, there has been a notable shift of focus to educational research that seeks to promote teacher education through critical reflections on teachers' experiences. The objective has been to inform teacher education practices from practical knowledge generated from the teachers' lived experiences and daily teaching than from knowledge based on established theories propounded by experts' from outside the classroom. Several teacher educators have expressed optimism in self-study research (SSR) as a teacher learning/inquiry strategy that could facilitate this process. This study aims to describe how SSR can be used as a teacher-learning strategy in different contexts of teacher education. It draws upon the perceptions and experiences of 35 M.Ed. course participants (CPs) who were engaged in SSR during the Teacher Learning module of the M.Ed. (Teacher Education) program, at the Aga Khan University-Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED). Creation of field texts involved analysis of 33 CPs' autobiographies and 35 drafts of their reflections-on-writing, research interviews, informal conversations, and reflective journal recording. My own autobiography was the focus of the study. However, to enrich my understanding of the study I burrowed into the lived experiences of three other participants selected on the basis of the analysis of the autobiographies and on contextual representation of the CPs' backgrounds. Creation of interim texts involved vertical and horizontal analysis of my autobiography and those of the three selected cases, to create Professional Biographical Profiles. These were enriched with data from interviews formal and informal and from reflective journal entries before they were eventually represented as research texts. Findings show that the professional insights the CPs got from the experiences of engaging in SSR at AKU-IED made them perceive SSR pedagogically valuable as a teacher learning strategy. Basing on the CPs' learning experiences and perceptions about the teacher-learning potential of SSR, the study suggests that SSR could be used as a reflective tool to support teacher learning at different stages of teacher development. However, the study reveals underlying ethical problems and limitations on teachers' capacity to engage in reflective practice. Pertinent implications for using the strategy in different contexts of teacher education are discussed and recommendations based on the implications are given. Finally, the focus for further research on the topic is identified.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library