Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Faculty of Education

First Supervisor

Dr Tony Herrington

Second Supervisor

Dr Jack Bana

Third Supervisor

Dr Nerida Ellerton


This study documented a school-based professional development activity conducted in a secondary school in the Philippines where five secondary mathematics teachers and the head of the school participated in a program of action research. The effectiveness of action research as a form of professional development and the constraints in using this form of professional development in the Philippines were evaluated based on the changes on teachers in terms of pedagogical knowledge, practices and beliefs. Qualitative research techniques were used. The methodology included questionnaires, interviews, class observations and diaries. The results indicated that the involvement of the participants in the action research has broadened their pedagogical knowledge and changed their teaching practices and beliefs. They started to use practical work; recognized and used a variety of resources including manipulatives; allowed students to do group activities and started trialing student-centered approaches. The teachers seemed to prefer an action research approach to professional development. This study found that the major constraints to professional growth of teachers arose from their students' attitudes and abilities, classroom factors and the educational system in general. Finally, the research has demonstrated that within the parameters of certain constraints, the action research process can be successfully carried out by secondary mathematics teachers in the Philippines and that this form of professional development has positive effects on teachers' professional growth.