Breaking Barriers: Building Research Partnerships between Special Education Teachers and Universities Action Research in Singapore.
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Teachers have important contributions to make in applied research. Their classroom teaching, management and day to day observations of children with special needs and interaction with parents provides them with a vast pool of experience. Often teachers develop unique strategies for teaching and classroom management to cater to individual needs. Despite their expertise, in general, teacher’ s are reluctant to be involved in research. This research investigated special education teacher’s interest to participate in action research. A Likert Scale Survey was administered to Year One (n = 51) and Year Two (n = 52) teachers undergoing pre-service training in Special Education. The survey consisted of 25 questions categorized under (a) Interest to Participate, (b) Support, (c) Skills, (d) Practical Use, (e) Availability of Time and (f) Opportunity and Networking. The percentage responses were calculated for each category of responses. The results showed that the majority of teachers from both Year One and Year Two were interested to participate in research. Teachers were, however, concerned about the level of support they received to participate in research projects. Implications for future collaborations between teachers and University researchers are discussed.
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