TEACHERS AS RESEARCHERS: BRINGING TEACHERS' VOICE TO THE EDUCATIONAL LANDSCAPE
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There are a number of studies addressing the possible benefits of teachers being engaged in research, but there is little research that explores what teachers themselves think about their role as researchers and how they evaluate themselves as researchers. The aim of this study is to present a small scale investigation into teachersí self-perception of doing research in mainstream schools. By doing research, teachers express their voice; teachers' voice is an expression of their frames of reference. This is also a way of making their perspective public. In Latvia, teachers do not have an active voice in the educational theory and research. This research indicates that research initiated by teachers provides a framework for strengthening teachers' voice. The research data present an analysis of teachers' self-evaluation of their research competency, ability to organize their own research activity and that of their children. The study highlights the factors that determine teachers' willingness to engage in doing research, as well as their expertise to organize and motivate children's research. The data from group interviews and questionnaires show a genuine degree of agreement on a number of main issues, such as teachers' motivation in doing research, their expertise to motivate children in doing their research, as well as teachers' openness to creative and imaginative insights brought about by the primary school children in their research projects. This study highlights several significant correlations between teachers' ability to carry out their own research and their ability to engage children in a meaningful research.
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