You are on page 1of 1

Example of Personal Engagement in Literature Review The next issue is that of power.

Who should carry out inquiry and research in classroom teaching and learning? Should we leave it to the experts? Or can the regular classroom teacher have a go at it too? (Assuming, of course, that he/she has the time and inclination for it). Who are the experts, anyway? The outsiders, i.e. the university professionals? Or our resident research personnel? Johnston & Badley seemed to feel that reflection in practice is the task of the expert, not of the novice. To them, reflective practice, and reflective knowing is a process wrought with difficulties and problems and is not something that can be easily taught. My impression from reading their article is that reflective knowing is like divine knowledge - and only a privileged few have that sight. Actually, in most of our schools where research resource persons are scarce, I can understand such sentiments among regular classroom teachers. It is no wonder then that they regard inquiry and research as the field of experts only. But it is our duty to dispel such misperceptions. The generation of knowledge about good practice and good institutions are not the exclusive property of universities and research and development centres (Zeichner, 1993: 204). Allwright demonstrated how the classroom teacher can integrate classroom research into the pedagogy of teaching. Zeichner persuades us that the little difference the classroom researcher makes within his/her domain can impact the broader social and political context. And Lawn tries to convince us that schoolwork research frees us from the confines of classroom bonds and permits professional development. The teacher is the one who knows best what goes on in the classroom and is the best person to initiate action or change when the need arise. As Zeichner (1993: 204) stated, practitioners have theories too, that can contribute to the knowledge that informs the work of practitioner communities. Research and inquiry should therefore be a ground up process, with classroom teachers generating the knowledge and experience most pertinent and relevant to our conditions (Zeichner, 1993: 204). But of course, I am not advocating displacement of external guidance. Reading around the subject has allowed me to see exciting possibilities in collaborative action and research with my learners the student teachers - and even with our primary school teachers. But two issues need to be addressed: first, in schools and even in colleges, we badly need guidance to lead and formats to follow, and second, teachers need to be convinced that they are capable of carrying out research. And I believe facilitation from universities and higher institutions of learning will be greatly welcomed. In fact, I see the universities and teacher institutes partnerships with schools in the teacher education programme as groundwork for such partnership in research efforts as well.