Since 2021, the Ministry of Education has developed a professional development scheme for Thai teachers. As part of teachers’ individual development plan, classroom research skills have been addressed as skills that could help develop teachers to identify classroom challenges, explore, interact, and experience the change in the classroom, becoming more self-directed and empowered decision makers to better teach English and improve learning outcomes.
About Exploratory Action Research in Thailand
The British Council, in partnership with King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), delivered a small-scale capacity building programme for a group of 25 Thai teachers to develop Exploratory Action Research (EAR) skills. The project will start with training sessions to provide essential knowledge of EAR, along with one-on-one mentoring support by a group of mentors throughout the programme. It is envisaged that the teacher participants will go on to disseminate their learning via a dedicated session in a national conference. It is also hoped that a number of the participants can be identified as having potential to become potential mentors, supporting other teachers in Thailand, or potentially in ASEAN, to use and embed this mode of practice as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Under this programme, UK institution and researchers who are experts in EAR will be introduced to work with Thai government agencies, HE institutes and teacher association. The UK expert will work closely with British Council and KMUTT on overall project design, providing suggestions or comments and sharing lessons learned from similar British Council projects across the globe.
This project aims to develop Thai teachers to become classroom researchers and agents of transformation in their classroom challenges. For project sustainability, the project will also aim to develop teachers and university lecturers who involve in this year project to become local mentors (school-based and university-based mentors) for future opportunities.
Exploratory Action Research in Thai Schools: English teachers identifying problems, taking action and assessing Results
The centrality of classroom action research to Thai teachers can be seen in the teacher competency framework, which stipulates all teachers must undertake action research as a mandatory requirement. This emphasises the value of this publication for teachers and education supervisors in Thailand. Classroom enquiry is a vitally important part of what it means to be a member of the teaching profession. It demonstrates the drive and commitment that so many teachers put in to their students’ learning. Ultimately, teacher research sends the message that each and every learner in the class is valued and important, and that the teacher is determined to help each of them progress. At the heart of action research is the pursuit of excellence, both in terms of teacher and student performance. This publication captures that pursuit of excellence. It shines a light on the need to focus on the identification of problems. It articulates problems in a way that allows other teachers to reflect on and learn from their counterparts across the country. Importantly, it counters the idea that we can do the same thing over and over and hope for the best. The effect of the pandemic on students and student learning further highlights the reason why teachers need to take a case-by-case approach to classes and students.
The British Council in Thailand in partnership with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and Professor Anne Burn; the editor of this publication would like to introduce the EAR manuscript with 12 chapters to the accounts of Thai teachers’ exploratory action research (EAR) that follow.
Title: Exploratory Action Research in Thai Schools: English teachers identifying problems, taking action and assessing results
Author/Editor: Professor Anne Burns
- Chapter 1: What Strategies Can Improve Students' Confidence to Speak in the Target Language? by Bhunnarak Bhurampawe
- Chapter 2: How to Support Students to Cope with Reading Comprehension Problems by Jittima Duangmanee
- Chapter 3: How do Students Improve their Vocabulary Retention? by Jessie James Ramirez Dagunan
- Chapter 4: How to Enhance Students’ Writing Skills by Menada Juiboonmee
- Chapter 5: A Breakthrough in Grammar Lessons by Patcharin Kunna
- Chapter 6: How to Enhance Students’ Reading Comprehension Skills by Nattanan Lengluan
- Chapter 7: How to Improve Students’ Speaking Skills by Pajonsak Mingsakoon
- Chapter 8: How to Encourage the Writing of Varied Sentence Structures in Writing Tasks by Nuananong Mookkhuntod
- Chapter 9: How to Improve Students’ Pronunciation Skills by Pheerapol Muprasert
- Chapter 10: Improving Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Through the Use of the QAREP Model by Tharach Puttarak
- Chapter 11: Perceptions of Students and Issues in Teaching and Learning Writing by Anuchit Tharamanit
- Chapter 12: Students’ Difficulties in Learning Vocabulary in Reading and Writing Classes by Kanchanokchon Woodeson