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Classroom-based action research with secondary school students of English Literature: A teacher-researcher’s reflection

Audrey B. Wood (School of Education, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

ISSN: 1175-8708

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to reflect on some of the professional and practical challenges which emerged during the process of carrying out a small-scale action research project into different approaches to teaching English Literature in a Year-9 secondary classroom, completed in part-fulfilment of the requirements for a higher degree.


The author narrates an account of some of the difficulties faced by one emergent researcher whilst carrying out educational research in a comprehensive school in England.


The author suggests that even within a research-supportive environment where “research” is encouraged or expected, there is often limited effort from management to articulate the practicalities or evaluate its effectiveness. Despite this, the author emphasises the benefits to teachers and students of undertaking small-scale action research projects into issues of contemporary professional concern in the classroom. The author argues for the involvement of school administrators and universities in supporting teacher-researchers.


The value of this research lies in acknowledging some of the challenges that emergent researchers might face in conducting research in the context of the classroom, which might enable other teacher-researchers to anticipate and avoid similar problems in their own research, and circumvent criticism from those who believe that educational research should not be carried out by teachers.



Wood, A.B. (2017), "Classroom-based action research with secondary school students of English Literature: A teacher-researcher’s reflection", English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 72-84.



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