Abstract

Currently many schools in Latin America face strong demands from their environments, these demands are marked by an increasing and more complex economic poverty, a deeper social inclu - sion and a lack of social cohesion, which are reflected in an escalated individualism. In addition to these demands, there are other expectations impos - ed by the academic and political world. In the academic world, contextualized learning and qual - ity education services are expected, while in the political world, the demands are constituted by more levels of inclusion and of student permanence in schools. Together, these demands define a sce - nario for education characterized by several gaps: the ones between the performances of students from public and private schools, urban and rural schools, considering if they are male or female stu - dents, amongst others. It is important to highlight one of the most substantial disparity, which is the breach that exists from what the school is able to offer, greatly represented by the teacher in the classroom, and the emerging needs of the students, these needs correspond to particular and very diverse social environments, where every specific demand must be satisfied. To Close this gap, and the others previously mentioned, which are of no less importance, a priority in the political agenda of the governments must be given. To accomplish this major point, it is necessary to strengthen teach - ers' abilities to use and manage technologies and tools that will allow them to cater to the diversity of students in each of the schools attend ed, as well as contextualize teaching practices, and adapt them to reach the needs of these specific groups. In order to address these points many interventions, which used various training modes and work method - ologies, were executed. However the actions taken, they have not have the desired outcome until now. Moreover the evidence resulting from international research specify that to strengthen the skills of the teach ers accordingly, it is necessary that the training of in-service teachers should allow the promotion of spaces for reflection and dialog, as well as the opportunity to question common know - ledge and practices. Data obtained from the field report that training given to teachers only generates real changes in teaching practices when these teach ers have previously changed their under - standing and beliefs of what teaching is to them, aligning them with the new approaches. This same data also reports that one of the most effective methodologies to generate these positive changes is the use of action research. The following observational investigation compos ed a study group of 21 in-service teachers attend ing a professional development that incor po rat ed an action-research component. The purpose of this study is to establish how, and to what extent, the capacities for competitive research were strength ened in the group previously mentioned. To achieve this, different information collection tools were used for the observation of teaching performance: Tools such as tests, focus groups, analysis of testimonies and products. Comple men tary methodologies were also used for the quantitative and qualitative analysis, giving an emphasis on the latter. The results obtained from the quantitative analysis account for a significant improvement in each one of the seven skills that were part of this research, which are presented in the study as a whole. The results of the qualitative analysis report improvements in areas such as the formulation of problems, the use of evidences and methodological tools, hypothesis formulation and intervention, and scientific writing strategies, as well as important improvement in the capacity to research generally speaking. However, the outcome of this investigation has not created and impact in teachers so that will pursue them to implement and evaluate the use of research in their teaching practices.
Translated title of the contributionInnovation experience in teacher professional development
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)407-423
Number of pages17
JournalInterdisciplinaria
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

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