Reviving reflective practice – an indispensable part of our work

Having looked into theory I found the meaningful definition which in my view reflects all the key issues of Action Research in the book ‘Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching’ by Anne Burns. Action Research is described as a reflective process done by a teacher aiming to identify and solve a problem or bring improvement through ‘taking a self-reflective, critical, and systematic approach to exploring your own teaching contexts’ [Burns, 2]. The author emphasises that Action Research is based on information collected systematically and it does not follow ‘a fixed pattern to solve a straightforward technical problem’ [Burns, 6]. Action Research usually represents a cycle which may be repeated as many times as necessary to solve a problem.

I have already done something close to Action Research trying to improve setting up tasks (you can find a succession of reflective practices here – then here – after that here – and finally here). I went through the following experiential learning cycle: description – analysis – generalization – action points. Eventually, it was very effective because I saw my major mistakes and action points helped me to concentrate on important issues not to repeat my mistakes. Describing this experience on my blog I benefited from other teachers commenting and suggesting ideas. As a result, my teaching has improved a tiny bit and I will definitely continue doing it, but next time I will use the cycle by Kemmis and McTaggart which is represented in the book by Anne Burns.

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