The sustainable impacts of teacher action research on EFL teachers in Indonesia

Yunita Puspitasari, Utami Widiati, Saiful Marhaban, Teguh Sulistyo, Rofiqoh Rofiqoh


Action research has been a prominent topic in continuous professional development literature. Studies have evidenced its potentials for teachers, but not many have discussed the sustainability of the research as a means of Teacher Professional Development (TPD) as well as its sustainable impact. Underpinning the issue of sustainability, the present study aims at investigating what factors made the teachers choose to continue conducting teacher action research, and what pedagogical and professional competences perceived changed as sustainable impacts of Teacher Action Research (TAR). This qualitative study with a phenomenological undertone adapted Seidman’s framework to conduct in-depth interviews with five English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers. The results showed that motivation and self-efficacy belief, institutional supports, and collaboration with academics/universities were essentials for sustainable engagement with the research. Pedagogically, the teachers increased their awareness of the students’ characteristics, knowledge of effective learning, and ability to carry out reflective teaching. In terms of professional competence, they felt very confident and were able to make more publications. This study implies that TAR is a model of TPD that is able to develop EFL teachers’ professionalism where they can establish a better practice and develop themselves as professionals and individuals on daily basis, without leaving their students.


English teacher; Teacher Action Research; Teacher Professional Development; pedagogical competence; professional competence

Full Text:



Akbari, E., Naderi, A., Simons, R. J., & Pilot, A. (2016). Student engagement and foreign language learning through online social networks. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, 1(1), 1-22.

Allwright, D. (2007). Practitioner research. Language Teaching Research, 11(2), 223.

Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., & Sorensen, C. K. (2010). Introduction to research in education (8th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Atay, D. (2008). Teacher research for professional development. ELT Journal, 62(2), 139-147.

Bae, C. L., Hayes, K. N., Seitz, J., O’Connor, D., & DiStefano, R. (2016). A coding tool for examining the substance of teacher professional learning and change with example cases from middle school science lesson study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 60, 164-178.

Bandura, A. (2006). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents (Vol. 5, pp. 307-337). Inormation Age Publishing, Inc.

Borg, S. (2010). Language teacher research engagement. Language Teaching, 43(4), 391-429.

Borg, S., Clifford, I., & Htut, K. P. (2018). Having an EfECT: Professional development for teacher educators in Myanmar. Teaching and Teacher Education, 72, 75-86.

Burns, A., & Rochsantiningsih, D. (2006). Conducting action research in Indonesia: Illustrations and implications. Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching, 2(1), 21-35.

Burns, A., & Westmacott, A. (2018). Teacher to researcher: Reflections on a new action research program for University EFL teachers. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 20(1), 15-23.

Chou, C. H. (2010). Investigating the effects of incorporating collaborative action research into an in-service teacher training program. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 2728-2734.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.). Routledge.

Crandall, J. (2000). Language teacher education. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20(2000), 34-55.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (4th ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Curtin, J. (2016). Action learning in virtual higher education: Applying leadership theory. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 13(2), 151-159.

Desimone, L. M., Porter, A. C., Garet, M. S., Yoon, K. S., & Birman, B. F. (2002). Effects of professional development on teachers’ instruction: Results from a three-year longitudinal study. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24(2), 81-112.

Dick, B. (2019). The promise and future of action research in education. In C. A. Mertler (Ed.), The Wiley handbook of action research in education (pp. 439-459). John Wiley & Sons.

Edwards, E., & Burns, A. (2016). Language teacher action research: Achieving sustainability. ELT Journal, 70(1), 6-15.

Farrell, T. S. C. (2008). Brief reflective practice in the professional development of teachers of adult English language learners. Center for Applied Linguistics.

Gore, J. M., & Zeichner, K. M. (1991). Action research and reflective teaching in preservice teacher education: A case study from the United States. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(2), 119-136.

Gutierez, S. B. (2019). Learning from teaching: Teacher sense-making on their research and school-based professional development. Issues in Educational Research, 29(4), 1181-1200.

Halai, N. (2011). How teachers become action researchers in Pakistan: Emerging patterns from a qualitative metasynthesis. Educational Action Research, 19(2), 201-214.

Halim, L., Buang, N. A., & Meerah, T. S. (2010). Action research as instructional supervision: Impact on the professional development of university based supervisors and science student teachers. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 2868-2871.

Hilton, A., & Hilton, G. (2017). The impact of conducting practitioner research projects on teachers’ professional growth. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(8), 77-94.

Hismanoglu, M. (2010). Effective professional development strategies of English language teachers. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 990-995.

Irmawati, D., Widiati, U., & Cahyono, B. (2017). How do Indonesian professional English teachers develop their pedagogical competence in teaching Implementation? Arab World English Journal, 8(2), 293-307.

Johnson, K. E. (2016). Practitioner and professional development research. Language Teaching Research, 20(2), 143-145.

Kijkuakul, S. (2019). Professional changes of primary science teachers: Experience on collaborative action research in Thailand. Asia-Pacific Science Education, 5(1), 1-22.

Koshy, V. (2005). Action research for improving practice: A practical guide. Paul Chapman Publishing.

Kutlay, N. (2013). A survey of English language teachers’ views of research. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 188-206.

Kuzairi. (2014). Professional development by senior high school English teachers in Pamekasan [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Universitas Negeri Malang.

Leitch, R., & Day, C. (2000). Action research and reflective practice: Towards a holistic view. Educational Action Research, 8(1), 179-193.

Malmberg, L. E., Hagger, H., Burn, K., Mutton, T., & Colls, H. (2010). Observed classroom quality during teacher education and two years of professional practice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(4), 916-932.

Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. (2005). Undang-undang nomor 14 tahun 2005 tentang guru dan dosen [Law number 14 of 2005 on teachers and lecturers].

Mokhele, M. L. (2014). Individual techniques of professional development: A critical review of literature. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(20), 2934-2941.

Morales, M. P. E., Abulon, E. L. R., Roxas-Soriano, P., David, A. P., Hermosisima, M. V. C., & Gerundio, M. G. (2016). Examining teachers’ conception of and needs on action research. Issues in Educational Research, 26(3), 464-489.

Moutafidou, A., Melliou, K., & Georgopoulou, A. A. (2012). Educational research and teacher development. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31(2011), 156-161.

O’Connor, K., & Anderson, P. (2006, April 7). Action research: A tool for improving teacher quality and classroom practice [Paper presentation]. American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2006 Annual Meeting San Francisco, US.

Seidman, I. (2006). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences (3rd ed.). Teacher College Press.

Sowa, P. A. (2009). Understanding our learners and developing reflective practice: Conducting action research with English language learners. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(8), 1026-1032.

Syah, M. N. S. (2016). Classroom action research as professional development of teachers in Indonesia. Jurnal Tarbawi, 13(1), 1-16.

Thamrin, M. (2011). Enhancing professional development through classroom action research projects: A case study of secondary English teachers in Palu City, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Victoria University of Wellington.

Utami, I. G. A. L. P. (2019). English teachers’ Personally-Initiated Learning (PIL): Their professional development preferences. Celt: A Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching & Literature, 19(1), 89.

Wang, Q., & Zhang, H. (2014). Promoting teacher autonomy through university-school collaborative action research. Language Teaching Research, 18(2), 222-241.

Watkins, A. (2006). So what exactly do teacher-researchers think about doing research? Support for Learning, 21(1), 12-18.

Wulandari, D., Narmaditya, B. S., Utomo, S. H., & Prayi, P. H. (2019). Teachers’ perception on classroom action research. KnE Social Sciences, 3(11), 313-320.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats