A reflective investigation into special needs education teachers' professional learning through research into their own practice

  • Amanda Watkins

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The focus of this research study is upon the possible benefits research can offer special needs education (SNE) teachers. The project has been based upon a ‘study of a study’ with a piece of small-scale personal research - an observational study of the play of children with severe learning difficulties — being used as the starting point for examining the opportunities for learning about professional practice research can present teachers working in SNE. This project has linked two professional interests: a desire to systematically investigate a teaching and learning issue whilst reflecting upon the process of conducting that investigation. This reflection upon the process of conducting research was both personal and also involved asking other researchers — teacher researchers and professional researchers who support teacher researchers — about their experiences of conducting research. The project has involved using a reflective diary on personal research as well as semi-structured interviews with teacher researchers and professional researchers as a means of collecting data about the possible benefits of teacher research. The analysis of this data then led to the generation of a series of hypotheses and recommendations about possible future SNE teachers’ research. It is hoped this small-scale research project will be of interest to other teachers who are either engaged in or considering becoming involved in research, as well as the school managers, professional researchers and policy makers who support these teacher researchers in different aspects of their professional learning and development
    Date of Award2006
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Northampton
    SupervisorRichard Rose (Supervisor)

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