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The Role of Teacher Empowerment and Teacher Accountability in School-University Partnerships and Action Research

Author(s): Lauren Segedin

Journal: Brock Education : a Journal of Educational Research and Practice
ISSN 1183-1189

Volume: 20;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Large-scale educational reform is occurring in Canada, the USA and the UK. Different strategies for change have resulted, including the school-university partnership and teacher-led action research. While this partnership and professional development method is perceived as a way to empower teachers it also appears to be riddled with issues of accountability. This study investigates the impact of participation in a school-university partnership, using action research as the professional development method for school improvement, on teaching professionals' sense of accountability and empowerment. The findings from this study showed that these projects were organized from the top-down and teachers felt accountable to the government, their peers, their students, the School Board, the school community, and the project funding body. However, teachers also were found to be empowered as they experienced shared decision making, teacher autonomy, professional growth, and school change. This suggests that the relationship between accountability and empowerment is not a simple one.

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