Action research as an effective way of developing educational policy
conference contributionposted on 03.05.2006, 15:47 by Margarita Pavlova, James Pitt
This paper considers the successful implementation of the results of an action research project concerned with technology education in Russia. The history of action research in Russia is not very long and the area of research was mainly concentrated on improving methods of teaching and programmes of study. Traditionally, the main paradigm within methodology of educational research was positivism, with a strong belief that it leads to scientific and justified knowledge. As with any other educational reform in Russia, the development of technology education curricula was done from the centre on the assumption that change will be applied in all schools and will be seen as an innovation. Schools were seen as targets for change, and teachers as consumers of new ideas and products. It is therefore assumed that schools will adopt solutions prepared at the system level. This approach did not work, particularly, in the context of big socio-economic change. The case study that is analysed in this paper exemplifies the use of action research for the development of a new program within a new epistemological paradigm. Use of the design-based approach for development of technology education curriculum within 'Technology & Enterprise Education in Russia' is an example of successful action research. Educators' perceptions of the transfer process is presented on the basis of interviews and private conversations. This data is analysed and conclusions drawn.
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