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Do you practice research in your teaching process?

28/06/2020
door Ruzica Madzarevic
Taal: EN

Most likely you have done some researches as a part of your education. It was maybe part of the curricula, part of your thesis, and probably when you think of that it generally feels like hard work and task for academia.

I have been talking lately with some trainers and they have told some very interesting ideas about their process, for example, they start using new techniques and done some creative online tasks. They had a hypothesis, they followed it and gained some results but didn't have the idea that it could have been researching or that was worth sharing with others.

We definitely need some set of skills and some practice to call ourselves researches, but here are few ideas to inspire us to become teacher, trainer, and researcher as well.

Evaluation is research.

When we evaluate our practice we are doing a research job: we test the hypothesis of what was working and what we need to improve. The evaluation reflects the important parts of the research: define what you want to know, create questions that will enable you to find it out, analyze the results, make conclusions and answer to your question.

It will help you understand better students, the learning processes, etc.

Researching your practice may help you to gain valuable insight into your teaching process and also it may be the tool to understand your students. For example, if you pay attention to the marks you may realize what part of the program is difficult for the majority of them. Or you may discover why certain students finish the class eve nit was very challenging for them and that may help you to encourage other students.

Start with small action researches

It is enough to start with a few small steps, for example, if I add more video materials will students remember better those lessons. What is important is the intention- we are aware of why we have chosen something and then we monitor how things will unfold.

Team up with academia and other colleagues

Sometimes the research process is too much for s, or we enjoy only one part of it (for example- collecting data). One of the ideas is to make a team with some colleagues and have continuous research practice. There is a lot of potential in cooperation between training centers, schools, and the science community.

It has never been easier to find literature and present your work

Starting from the EPALE resource section we may find many useful texts about almost anything in the field of adult education. Also, there are many studies in the Eurydice, that may help us to understand some systems and education in general.

It will pay off.

Some of my colleagues think it is too much work for very little result. Even though it may not be part of our everyday task research results may help us to prepare for some projects, to establish cooperation, and to position ourselves as professionals.   

You are already doing great work, why wouldn't you tell others about that.

I am sure all of us have moments when we feel proud of our results, or we have solved some challenges (create some materials, discover some techniques). The research process is the way to present it. Even if we don't want to present it as a research article the structure of that article may be useful to present our work as a blog- present our background, what was the challenge in the teaching-main question, what we did and what we have found out.

 

Do you recognize yourself in that? Tell us in the poll and in the comment section.

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  • afbeelding van Radek Czahajda
    Even though trainers provide continuing education, we miss such opportunities greatly. One can develop some particular skills, more or less technical, like public speaking or design thinking, but I know a lot of trainers miss understanding of how their performance actually is and a properly constructed evaluation could help them understand it :)  Thank you for encouraging such approach in educators! Together with my colleague from Trainers' Forum we are thinking of scaling this up, by providing an opportunity for trainers to participate in research and thus receive very precise feedback, while helping the training profession to grow. It could be as simple as using a standardised feedback form during training to create some benchmarks :)) 
  • afbeelding van Ruzica Madzarevic
    That is a great idea and opportunity. Keep us posted on EPALE about that initiative!