domingo, 21 de junho de 2009

Classroom research

I have just been introduced to the idea of classroom research in my postgraduate course. I am excited about the possibilities it can bring and my shifting from a "passive" role in the field of language teaching to one of finding and sharing knowledge that can enhance my own teaching and other's as well.

The following quote from Brown (2001, p. 431) gave me some good food for thought on the subject:

Research is a scary word for many of us. We are happy to leave it in someone else's hands because it involves statistics (which we hate), experimental design (which we don't know), and the interpretation of ambiguous results which we think is best left to "experts"). Even so, leaving all the research in the hands of researchers is an upside-down policy, as Anne Meek (1991:34) noted:

The main thing wrong with the world of education is that there's this one group of people who do it - the teachers - and then there's another group who think they know about it - the researchers. The group who think they know about teaching try to find out more about it in order to tell the teachers about teaching - and that is so reversal.

Teachers are the ones who do it and, therefore, are the ones who know about it. It's worth getting teachers to build on what they know, to build on what questions they have, because that's what matters - what teachers know and what questions they have. And so anybody who wants to be a helpful researcher should value what the teachers know and help them develop that.

BROWN, H. Douglas (2001) Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd edition) Longman

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