During the last week I’ve participated in an action research course called Researching Professional Practice: Opening Communicative Spaces led by Karin Rönnerman and Jane Wilkinson. Listening to prominent action researchers and discussing important aspects of the method has left me with many thoughts and questions that I have to ask myself while doing my study. We have talked to Björn Gustavsen, Stephen Kemmis, Doris Santos, Christine Edwards-Groves, Jane Wilkinson and Torbjörn Lund – their experience and stories have answered many of my questions and given me the confidence to go on with my own action research.
One significant point that has been made during the course is that changing your practice does take time and we need to change the way we think before we can change the way we act. For me it has been a challenge to design a course for my students that actually IS something different, and as we know different isn’t always better, but in my case I feel it is necessary. In my prezi I try to paint my picture at the moment and this picture is ever changing. And change should be allowed to take time. Experience might be a nicer word for mistakes, but these mistakes makes me question what I do and through dialogues with my students I can understand their view better and also make the necessary changes.
The dialogues with my students might also change their way of thinking about their own learning and motivation, something I had not thought about, but the point was raised after my presentation by a fellow course participant, Bente Norbye. In discussions with others we develop our own thinking and that is why action research can never be a quick fix so to speak and it usually has an impact on everyone that participates. Communication takes time, but for those who are willing to participate in the dialogues it can be a profound and lasting change both in the way we think and the way we act.
Charlotta Hilli is a history and social studies teacher and a newcomer in the action research field. I’m writing my thesis (Learning and motivation in Second Life. A qualitative study in Social studies) in connection to the project Didactical Dimensions in Digital learning, dididi.fi.