When it was thought to introduce action research in special education at Disha, Jaipur, proposed by me and forming a research group of three functionaries including Dr Savita Jagawat, a clinical psychologist at the institute; a special educator and me. An interview of mine (Dr. Lalit Kishore) was proposed to understand the concept of action research.
"Action research in special education is the
practitioner's systematic research to improve his or her practice
along with addressing learning and the social justice needs of
differently abled children through self-reflection leading to
improved interventions," I said, when asked the question about what
of action research.
To the question related to why of action research,
my response was, "There is so much of diversity among children with
special needs, the content and classroom intervention need to be
researched through action research plans and made relevant and
effective. The individual educational plans are needed to be matched
to the children's assessment by clinical psychologist and
intervention developed, researched while being implementing so as to
improve practice to benefit children with special needs. The children
with special needs require improved opportunities and better
interventions to learn to their optimal potential with teachers'
efforts. Therefore, the special educators have to assume the role of
teacher-researchers or action researchers."
When asked how to promote action research among
special educators, I replied, "Start with one or two teachers,
provide them orientation in action research, plan an action research,
implement it with collection of data, help special educator to
self-reflect on the data and make recommendations for designing
improved opportunities. So, initially, on-job orientation, support,
hand-holding and mastery on the action research procedure and report
writing skills are required so as to make the special educator a
spontaneous action researcher."
"Thus, there is a need for the special educators
to build a culture of action research through in-house training and
developing action research plans instead of using hackneyed and meaningless lesson plans as a checklist ," I summed up.