The Engagement of Teachers in Action Research at Preparatory Schools: the Case of Bole Sub-City, City Government of Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of the study was to search the current status of teachers’ engagement in action research in preparatory schools of Bole sub-city in the city of Addis Ababa government and to assess the present knowledge and skills of preparatory school teachers concerning action research. To conduct this study, systematic random sampling techniques was applied. The sample size includes 60 preparatory school teachers from different subjects of teaching, 6 school principals and 2 woreda education officers. Quantitative data has been collected concerning the knowledge and engagement of teachers in action research. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and this was supplemented by synthesis of the interview and document data to validate and triangulate information from different sources. Though 71.6% of the respondent teachers were engaged in action research and related activities, the level of their engagement was found very minimal, i.e., only estimated to 5% of their working time. This indicated that regardless of its importance in building baseline for the new generation, time given to action research in both schools is negligible. Moreover, the study indicated that, 94% of the teachers and 100% of principals confirmed that they had taken action research as a course during their university or college level education, however, significant number of the respondents confirmed that the knowledge and skills of teachers in conducting action research is not sufficient. Lack of research experience, lack of in-service research training, lack of skills in research methodology, lack of support and encouragement from the top management, lack of commitment to work collaboratively in conducting research among teachers and different personal factors were identified among the most important attributing barriers that hindered teachers’ engagement in action research. In addition to this, teachers were not given the chance to take part in any short term training like workshops and seminars. Therefore, it seems to appear that teachers need to have training and hands-on practices to engage in action research activities so as to possess the required knowledge and skill to improve the status of current learning process. Teachers’ effort to learn from their own experience and improve their practice in engagement and doing action research is an important means to teacher empowerment, school improvement and educational change