The Reflective Teacher: Case Studies of Action Research
Neeraja Raghavan
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

This book describes the action research undertaken by teachers at the Azim Premji School in Dineshpur, Uttarakhand, guided by facilitators from the Azim Premji Foundation. Teachers with varying lengths of experience took a fresh look at their teaching practices, examined and identified specific problems that they faced, and succeeded in addressing many of these problems.

Consisting of teachers’ documentation of their action research, classroom observations and facilitators' notes, the book also analyses the case studies against the backdrop of the research of pioneers such as John Dewey and Donald Schon. The work presented here can enable the emergence of the reflective practitioner in teachers and empower them to channelise this reflection into action by continuously re-examining their own teaching practices.

NEERAJA RAGHAVAN is the Founder-Director of ThinkingTeacher. She has a doctorate degree in Chemistry from Princeton University, USA and her last position was Professor at Azim Premji University. She worked with Azim Premji Foundation for almost eight years, mainly in the field of Science teacher education, pedagogy and curriculum development. She has taught in several mainstream as well as alternative schools in India and has been the Principal of a few schools. Her publications include The Reflective Learner (2019); Teaching Tales Learning Trails co-authored with Vineeta Sood and Kamala Anilkumar (2018); The Reflective Teacher, with contributing editor Vineeta Sood (Orient Blackswan, 2015); Alternative Schooling in India (2007) co-edited with Sarojini Vittachi; Childhood Regained (2007) co-edited; Curiouser and Curiouser (2003), I Wonder Why (2004), and I Wonder How (2006).

Foreword vii

Acknowledgements xi

Section I Background

1. Reflection and Action Research: What, Why, How?

Ways of Enhancing Reflection

Action Research

What is Action Research?

Steps in Action Research

Why was Action Research Chosen as a Method to Work With the Teachers?

Action Research and Teacher Development

How Objective and/or Rigorous Can Such a Study Be?

What is Meant by Reflective Practice?

Can Action Research be Used to Promote Reflective Practice?

Reflective Practice and Teacher Development

2. The Unfurling

Aim of the Study

School Where the Study Took Place

Genesis of this Action Research Study

Design and Rationale of the Study

Teacher Profile

Facilitation of Action Research

Sample Selection

Objective of the Study

3. Teacher Snapshots

Choice of Profession



Investment in Professional Development

Individual Efforts to Learn More and Stay Up-to-Date

Views on/Beliefs about Teaching and Learning

Specific Observations by Teachers

Teacher as a Reflective Practitioner

4. In the Classroom

Section II Narratives

1. Introduction

2. Enhancing English Vocabulary and Reading Abilities

3. Teaching Children ‘How We See’


4. Teaching Environmental Studies to Children Who Cannot Read and Write the Language

5. Enhancing Competency in Reading and Writing the Hindi Alphabet and Words

Quantitative Data Collected During Action Research

6. Developing Scientific Temper in Students

7. Enabling Children to Recognise Letters and Read

8. Ensuring Understanding of Place Value up to 3-digit Numbers

Section III Analysis and Conclusion

1. Action Research and Reflections of Teachers

Did the Reflective Practitioner Truly Emerge from Within these Teachers?

Did a Teacher’s Length of Teaching Experience Help or Hinder in Reflecting Through Action Research?

2. Reflection on Reflection-in-action

Changed Lesson Plans

3. Overview

Summary of Teachers’ Action Research

Limitations of this Study

Has Reflective Practice been Sustained in this School After the Study Ended?

Guidelines for Conducting Similar Action Research

Way Forward



Teacher Profile

Action Research Template


This review by Alok Mathur of Neeraja Raghavan’s The Reflective Teacher: Case Studies of Action Research was published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Krishnamurti Schools.
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