Action research as professional development: Its role in education reform in the United Arab Emirates

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Issues in Educational Research


© 2018, Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. All rights reserved. This paper is concerned with exploring the microsystem of teachers’ experiences with education reform within the action research (AR) model for professional development (PD). Within the macrosystem of current major education reform in the UAE, it is timely to explore teachers’ experiences of AR as PD to improve pedagogy. The process of engaging in AR for PD is explored through a pragmatic lens, insisting on treating research as a human experience based on the beliefs and actions of practitioners. The paradigm of critical pragmatism acknowledges the interpretive cycle but at the same time does not limit the research methods which may be used. In this study, a survey has been used to gather data. The study found that more individual support should be given to teachers during the AR process, that teachers should be allocated more in-school time to work on classroom-based research and that, where applicable, more academic research materials need to be made available in languages other than English.

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