Improving physics teaching through action research: the impact of a nationwide professional development programme

Marcus Grace, Willeke Rietdijk, Caro Garrett, Janice Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article presents an independent evaluation of the Action Research for Physics (ARP) programme, a nationwide professional development programme which trains teachers to use action research to increase student interest in physicsand encourage them to take post-compulsory physics. The impact of the programme was explored from the perspective of the teacher participants, the programme tutors and the teachers’ senior managers who authorise attendance on professional development training courses. Although teachers and senior managers viewed ARP as an unmitigated success in improving classroom practice, the evaluation raises some other important implications for teaching physics and the professional development of physics teachers. Relatively few teachers have experience of action research, and there is a need for further training in thisarea. The study also highlights the key role of senior managers in giving physics teachers access to appropriate professional development and opportunities to carry out suitable activities in the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalTeacher Development
VolumeOnline
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • action research
  • physics
  • professional development
  • science teacher education.

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