by Valsa Koshy
I am indebted to many people and organisations for providing me with
the opportunity to support practitioners with their action research. I
have learnt a great deal from these experiences and this learning has
guided me in writing this book. Although it is impossible for me to list
all the people who have influenced me over the years, I would like to
express my thanks to all of them. My special thanks to the following:
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) for providing
funding to enable 14 research partners, across the country, to
research into aspects of a complex and challenging topic – developing
gifts and talents of children aged 5–7. I had the privilege of
experiencing the impact of the action research process on their
own practice and the enhancement of opportunities for the children.
This opportunity convinced me of the significant role of
practitioner research for improving practice.
All the practitioners and students I have guided, over the years, to
carry out action research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels
and those who carried out action research for funded projects from
the Teaching Training Agency and local education authorities. I
shared the level of enthusiasm, excitement and commitment of
these people and learnt a great deal from these experiences.
The many children I have observed, who were the ultimate beneficiaries
of the action research carried out by the practitioners.
Finally, I dedicate this book to my husband Ron Casey, who is the most influential tutor I have had throughout my academic career. Discussing educational issues with him and listening to him continually questioning and challenging perspectives often highlighted the need for practitioners to reflect on their practices so as to initiate changes with increased understanding and confidence.