Using the Action Research rationale to enhance the creation of teachers’ Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
Creating teachers’ professional learning communities (PLCs) is an effective bottom-up way of bringing innovation into the science curriculum and professional development. The models of PLCs are based on principles of learning that emphasize the co-construction of knowledge by learners, who in this case are the teachers themselves. Teachers in a PLC meet regularly to explore their practices and the learning outcomes of their students, conduct Action Research activities - analyze their teaching and their students’ learning processes, draw conclusions, and make changes in order to improve their teaching and the learning of their students. It was found that participation in an Action Research workshop influences teaching practice, so teachers become more student-centered. Moreover, the teaching culture improves as the community increases the degree of cooperation among teachers, focusing on the processes of learning rather than the accumulation of knowledge. This enables students to be innovative, creative, and critical. In addition, trust is developed among the participants, which enables them to discuss and analyze their students’ cognitive and affective problems, misconceptions, and learning outcomes.
Ben-Zvi R., Eylon B. S., & Silberstein J. (1986). Is an atom of copper malleable? Journal of Chemical Education, 63, 64–66.
Bryk A. S., Gomez L. M., & Grunow A. (2010). Getting ideas into action: building networked improvement communities in education. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, www.carnegiefoundation.org/spotlight/webinar-bryk-gomez-building-networkedimprovement-communities-in-education (May 31, 2018).
Eilks, I., & Ralle, B. (2002). Participatory action research in chemical education. In B. Ralle & I. Eilks (Eds.), Research in chemical education—what does this mean? (pp. 87–98). Aachen: Shaker.
Eilks I., Ralle B., Rauch F., & Hofstein A. (2013). How to balance the chemistry curriculum between science and society. In I. Eilks & A. Hofstein (eds.), Teaching chemistry – a studybook (pp. 1-36), Rotterdam: Sense.
Eilks I. & Hofstein A. (2014). Combining the question of the relevance of science education with the idea of education for sustainable development. In I. Eilks, S. Markic, & B. Ralle (eds.), Science education research and education for sustainable development (pp. 3-14). Aachen: Shaker.
Ezra L., Skolnick B. & Aghbariya G. (2012). Can used oil be the next generation fuel? Unpublished module developed in the framework of the PROFILES Project funded by the European Community´s 7th Framework Program.
Feldman, A. (1996). Enhancing the practice of physics teachers: Mechanisms for the generation and sharing of knowledge and understanding in collaborative action research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 33, 513–540.
Feldman, A., & Minstrel, J. (2000). Action research as a research methodology for study of teaching and learning science. In A. E. Kelly & R. A. Lesh (eds.), Handbook of research design in mathematics and science education (pp. 429–455). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Fontana, A., & Frey, J. H. (1998). Interviewing: The art of science. In N. K. Denzin &Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (pp. 47–78). London: Sage.
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Hawhorne: Aldine.
Kraft, M. A, & Papay, J. P. (2014). Can professional environments in schools promote teacher development? Explaining heterogeneity in returns to teaching experience. Educational Effectiveness and Policy Analysis, 36, 476-500.
Laudonia, I., Mamlok-Naaman, R., Abels, S., & Eilks, I. (2017). Action research in science education – An analytical review of the literature. Educational Action Research, advance article.
Lee, V. E., Smith, J., & Croninger, R. (1997). How high school organization influences the equitable distribution of learning in mathematics and science. Sociology of Education, 70, 128–150.
Little, J. W. (1982). Norms of collegiality and experimentation: Workplace conditions of school success. American Educational Research Journal, 19, 325–30.
Little, J. W. (2012). Professional community and professional development in the learning - centered school. Teacher Learning That Matters: International Perspectives, 22-46.
Lortie, D. C., & Clement D. (1975). Schoolteacher: a sociological study. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Mamlok-Naaman, R., & Eilks, I. (2012). Different types of action research to promote chemistry teachers' professional development - A joint theoretical reflection on two cases from Israel and Germany. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10, 581-610.
Mamlok-Naaman R., Katchevich D., Yayon M., Burmeister M., & Eilks I. (2015). Learning about sustainable development in socio-scientific issues-based chemistry lessons on fuels and bioplastics. In V. G. Zuin & L. Mammino (eds.), Worldwide trends in green chemistry education (pp. 45-60). Cambridge: RSC.
Mamlok-Naaman, R., Eilks, I., Bodner, A., & Hofstein, A. (2018). Professional development of chemistry teachers. Cambridge: RSC.
Newmann, F. M. (1996), Authentic achievement: restructuring schools for intellectual quality. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Rosenholtz, S. J. (1989). Teachers' workplace: the social organization of schools. Addison-Wesley Longman Ltd.
Towns, M.H., Kreke. K., & Fields, A. (2000). An Action Research project: Student perspectives on small-group learning in Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 77, 111-115.
Shulman, L. S. (1997). Communities of learners & communities of teachers. Jerusalem: Mandel Institute.
Tobin, K. (1995, April). Issues of commensurability in the use of qualitative and quantitative measures. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Francisco, CA.
Tschannen-Moran, M. (2014). Trust matters: Leadership for successful schools. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Wadsworth, Y. (1998). What is participatory Action Research? Action Research International (Paper 2). Published on the web at: www.scu.edu.au/schools/gcm/ar/ari/arihome.html
Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1996). New directions in action research. London: Falmer.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Action Research and Innovation in Science Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright © Authors