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Issues in Educational Research, 2018, Vol 28(1), 99-119
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Action research as professional development: Its role in education reform in the United Arab Emirates

Conley Hathorn
Louisiana State University Alexandria, USA

Anna Marie Dillon
Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

This paper is concerned with exploring the microsystem of teachers' experiences with education reform within the action research (AR) model for professional development (PD). Within the macrosystem of current major education reform in the UAE, it is timely to explore teachers' experiences of AR as PD to improve pedagogy. The process of engaging in AR for PD is explored through a pragmatic lens, insisting on treating research as a human experience based on the beliefs and actions of practitioners. The paradigm of critical pragmatism acknowledges the interpretive cycle but at the same time does not limit the research methods which may be used. In this study, a survey has been used to gather data. The study found that more individual support should be given to teachers during the AR process, that teachers should be allocated more in-school time to work on classroom-based research and that, where applicable, more academic research materials need to be made available in languages other than English.
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Authors: Conley Hathorn BS, MEd, MEd, EdD is currently an Assistant Professor of Education at Louisiana State University Alexandria. He has been in education since 1977 as a teacher, coach, administrator and consultant. He has 12 years of education experience in the Middle East. His research interests include education reform, bullying and action research.
Email: conleyhathorn@yahoo.com

Anna Marie Dillon BEd, MA (Ed), PhD is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi. She is also the Director of the Early Childhood Learning Centre on the campus. She has worked in education as a class teacher, head of faculty, school principal and teacher educator. Her research interests include bilingual education, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), and co-teaching.
Email: annamarie.dillon@gmail.com

Please cite as: Hathorn, C. & Dillon, A. M. (2018). Action research as professional development: Its role in education reform in the United Arab Emirates. Issues in Educational Research, 28(1), 99-119. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/hathorn.pdf

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