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Fean, Paul (2012)
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: LC5201, LB2331.7, LG513, LB1025
This study re-presents an open-ended process of coming to know through designing, conducting and analysing an action research project with youth and adult education teachers in Khartoum, Sudan. The inquiry responds to the overarching question: What knowledge can I generate about teaching, its development and my researcher practice through collaborative action research with teachers in Sudanese youth and adult education schools? This multifaceted focus encompasses reconnaissance into teaching practices and adult education, the processes of action research and teacher development and reflexive analysis of epistemological positioning and knowledge construction through our collaborative investigation.\ud \ud The action research forms the substantive basis of this thesis, constituting diverse processes of coming to know by the participating teachers and myself. Our interactions as practitioners and researchers interrogated the teachers’ contextualised, practical knowledge through academic mechanisms of data collection and analysis. The teachers reflected upon their taken-for-granted understandings of education, their school contexts and their practice, and re-cast them as more complex. Participation in the study resulted in the teachers becoming ‘learners-focused’ by developing greater focus on their practice, by being mufetih (observant and analytical), by being close to learners and by increased experimentalism. These dispositions were combined with a shift in the teachers’ epistemological positions towards ‘authoritative uncertainty’, in which partial, contextualised and contingent knowledge was recognised as legitimate, facilitating re-construction of their knowledge to develop their practice.\ud \ud In this narrative account, the field research is framed by my evolving theoretical understandings which informed the design, analysis and re-presentation of the study. An autobiographical introduction to my experience in Sudan outlines my nascent professional stance towards education development. I then explore my increasingly critical understanding of research on teachers and pedagogy in Africa and discourse on education quality in low-income countries. I discuss the formation of my specific researcher identity through postcolonial theorisation of my ethical stance towards making a difference in the field of practice, namely Sudanese schools. In this thesis, layered re-viewing, which derives from an epistemological stance of the partiality and contingency of knowledge, facilitates re-presentation of moments in which understanding is challenged and re-formed by theorisation and experience. Re-viewing literature and theoretical analyses brings new epistemological, ontological and ethical understandings, as my focus on ‘the practical’ in field research has been supplemented in the post-fieldwork period by ‘the practical’ in the academy, a contested domain of knowledge production.\ud \ud To conclude this thesis, the position of ‘authoritative uncertainty’ is applied in the reflexive deconstruction of the study, as the action research process and outcomes are re-viewed through postcolonial and feminist theories to unpick the situated complexities of cross-cultural practitioner research and its representation. While coming to know is a continuous process, its representation in this thesis reaches an arbitrary conclusion by proposing how coming to know teaching practices, action research processes and reflexive researcher analysis might bring new perspectives to academic and policy initiatives for teacher development.
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    • 1. Warm-up: I Went to the Market
    • 2. Feedback on Reflective Activities
    • 3. Incomplete Sentences - Identifying the Key Themes
    • 1. Warm-up: Ring a Word
    • 2. Reflective Notes - Identifying the Key Themes
    • 3. Research Questions
    • 4. Describing the Starting Points
    • 1. Warm-up: Downwords
    • 2. Suitability of Topics as Action Research Projects
    • 3. Selecting a Research Topic
    • 4. What More do you Need to Know about the Situation? 1. Warm-up: Chainwords 2. Assessment of Reflective Notes 3. Definitions of Terms 4. Sub-research Questions (use Mind Maps to help?) 5. [Share Mind Maps (or just use in school visits)] 1. Warm-up: 20 Questions
    • 1. Identify elements of your research 2. Share Research Sub-questions topic 3. Elements of Your Research Topic
    • 2. Introduction to the reconnaissance 4. Introduction to the Reconnaissance stage Stage
    • 3. Planning the reconnaissance stage 5. Planning the Reconnaissance Stage (Sub-topics and how find out) 1. Warm-up: Word Association 21.. IcCdooellnnestciifdtyioeynrovmuarerirtoehusosedadsrifcfherseanmtdpaleta 432... BSPBlrraaaamniinnnpssilnettoogrr mmtheDHaoRtweacFCoinnondlleaOcistuisotanInnMcfoeermPthhaoatdisosen: 5. Planning the Reconnaissance Phase: Methods of Data Collection
    • 1. Clarify some points relating to the 1. Warm-up: Pictionary research topics 2. Questions about Phase 1 Data - Your
    • 2. Identify in-depth research points Students relating to your students 3. Questions about Reflective Activities -
    • 3. Discuss how to write detailed Critical Incidents reflective notes 4. Select Data Collection Methods
    • 4. Select data collection methods you will 5. Plans for Your Research During this
    • 1. Warm-up: Categories
    • 2. Open Discussion of Data Collected
    • 1. Warm-up: Rhythm Lists
    • 2. Asking Questions about your Data (Open discussion of data)
    • 1. Warm-up: Rhythm Lists
    • 2. Discussion of Your and Your Colleagues' Data
    • 3. Your Problems or Questions about Data Collection Methods
    • 4. Plans for Your Research This Week
    • 1. Warm-up: The Sun Shines on...
    • 2. Discussion of Your and Your Colleagues' Data
    • 3. Data Collection Methods you have Used
    • 4. Ideas for Other Data Collection Methods
    • 5. Plans for your Research during the Next Two Months
    • 1. Warm-up: Join the Dots Challenge
    • 2. Discussion of Your and Your Colleagues' Data
    • 3. Your Identity and Your Interviews
    • 4. The Identity of Researchers - Insider/Outsider 1. Share data
    • 1. Textbooks discussion - questions relating to each topic
    • 2. Textbooks and culture/gender questions
    • 3. Johari window
    • 1. Share data and discussion questions
    • 2. Johari window and sub-topics
    • 3. Ways to collect data for developmental phase
    • 4. Discuss seminar plans 1. Discussion of data - what issues
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