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Issues in Educational Research, 2021, Vol 31(3), 990-1005.
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Bhutanese school teachers' perceptions, challenges, and perceived benefits in doing research

Thinley Wangdi
Walailak University, Thailand

Nima Tharchen
Bitekha Middle Secondary School, Ministry of Education, Bhutan

Many previous studies have evidenced the benefits research has on the teaching and learning process when conducted by teachers themselves. Consequently, there has been a growing number of teacher-researchers across the world, including teachers who have learned to be teacher-researchers. Understanding and knowing these teacher-researchers' thinking, beliefs, and practices is therefore critical for the success of the practice, especially in a developing country like Bhutan. With the aim of broadening and building theory concerning teachers as researchers, this study explores perceptions, challenges, and perceived benefits in doing research from 237 teachers in Bhutan. Adopting sequential explanatory mixed-method research, data were collected with a modified version of a previously used questionnaire and follow-up interviews. The findings revealed that teacher-participants held a positive perception toward research. However, they were partly demotivated as they had to deal with a range of challenges while doing research. These included lack of time due to heavy teaching loads, lack of research knowledge, lack of incentives and recognition, lack of platforms and expertise, and lack of reliable resources including books. Nevertheless, participants were duly aware of how research benefits students, teachers, institutions, and the nation at large. Therefore, this study suggests Bhutanese policymakers, and beyond, especially in southern Asian regions of similar contexts, consider the presented findings to revamp teacher-researcher policy so that they can be better agents for the education system.
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Authors: Mr Thinley Wangdi (corresponding author) is a lecturer in the School of Languages and General Education at the University of Walailak in Thailand. His research interests include second language acquisition, teacher education, and areas related to teaching English as second/foreign language.
Email: thinley11@gmail.com

Mr Nima Tharchen is a school teacher at Bitekha Middle Secondary School, Bhutan. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in English literature at Yonphula Centenary College in Bhutan. His research interests include language and literature, teacher education and English language pedagogical practices.
Email: nimatharchen@education.gov.bt

Please cite as: Wangdi, T. & Tharchen, N. (2021). Bhutanese school teachers' perceptions, challenges, and perceived benefits in doing research. Issues in Educational Research, 31(3), 990-1005. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/wangdi.pdf

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