Invited Speakers

Raymond C. SISON, Ph.D.

Dean, Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education

De La Salle University, The Philippines

‘The current situation of education in the Philippines’





















Professor, Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development

College of Education and Human Development

University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA

‘Adapting Action Research methods in online learning’

If the months of the pandemic have taught us nothing else, it’s that the flexibility and willingness to innovate that are central to action research are valuable assets in times of uncertainty.  While nothing takes the place of gathering together as communities to engage in shared processes of reflection and dialogue, this is not always possible. Even after the pandemic has ended, finding ways of using technology and virtual sites will continue to offer new ways to broaden the scope of our work and increase opportunities for collaboration and innovation.  In this presentation we will explore ways in which a variety of action research methods can be adapted for online settings and discuss strategies for integrating this into our practice going forward. 



Mary Brydon-Miller, Ph.D. is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development in the College of Education and Human Development. She is a participatory action researcher who conducts work in both school and community settings. She is the editor, with David Coghlan, of the SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research (2014). Her most recent book with Sarah Banks is Ethics in Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being: Cases and Commentaries. She is currently working on an international middle-school citizen science project focused on global climate change education.



Professor at the Department of Higher Education Pedagogy

University of Stavanger, Norway

‘Action Research in Language Teacher Learning and Development’

Action research has emerged as a classroom research design for language teachers interested in exploring how they can improve their practices and understandings, and also contributing to the school development at curricular level. Conducting action research brings changes in teachers' identity (as teacher and/or researcher), their teaching (research-embedded student learning and /or teacher-fronted instruction) and motivations for teaching and doing research in their classrooms (intention to research for practical and professional change and/or intention to research for its own sake). In this talk I will introduce Action Research in language teacher education, focusing on the reasons for teachers conducting AR, the research skills they need, ways of supporting them, possible uses of their findings, and finally, the development benefits of engagement in AR. I will also discuss key implications that can be drawn for teacher education in pre- and in-service contexts.


Kenan Dikilitas is a Professor of University Pedagogy at the University of Stavanger in Norway. Kenan's research interests include teacher education, mentoring and investigating action research, as well as in-service teacher development in various contexts. He has co-authored two monographs on 'Developing Language Teacher Autonomy through Action Research' (2017), 'Inquiry and Research Skills for Language Teachers' (2020) and 'Introduction to TESOL' (in press)  and published research articles in international journals. 


Salleh HAIRON, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean, Higher Degrees by Coursework

National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

‘Right-Sizing Action Research to Impact Sustainable Teacher        



Hairon Salleh is Assistant Professor at the Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group, and Assistant Dean, Higher Degrees by Coursework, at the Graduate Studies and Professional Learning Programme Office, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of Bath, and Masters of Arts in School Effectiveness and School Improvement from the University of London, Institute of Education. He teaches in undergraduate, postgraduate and in-service courses relating to teacher and leadership education and preparation. Prior to his academic career, he has taught in both primary and secondary schools in Singapore. His research focus is on school leadership for teacher learning in communities, which includes distributed leadership, teacher leadership, professional learning communities, action research and professional development. His two latest edited books are School Leadership and Educational Change in Singapore (Springer) and Perspectives on School Leadership in Asia Pacific Contexts (Springer).



Deputy Director, University of Teaching and Learning Centre (UTLC)

Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia

‘Journeying through action research to overcome “I” as a living contradiction within the academic life of training, supervising and researching:  Lessons learnt’

In this session, I will be sharing my own journey of doing action research, as well as those of my own students and others, to point out the importance of choosing  action research designs which fit espoused values and beliefs, of engaging the critical voices of those affected by policy implementations (i.e. students and teachers) in order to influence the plans and directions of interventions for meaningful outcomes, and of examining the self who often, consciously or unconsciously, experiences “I” as a living contradiction.  By doing this I hope to convince that approaching action research in practical and critical ways could serve better, than the technical action research strategies, in attending to the complexities of classroom situations. Concerns and worries about doing practical and critical action research will be discussed and addressed.  Two scenarios will serve as the backdrop for my presentation:  (1) A review on the inclusion of action research (AR) as part of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in Southeast Asian countries (Shaik-Abdullah, Suppiah Shanmugam, and Chinappan, 2020) which found that the inclusion has been driven by the rhetoric to enhance quality of education for human capital development purposes, yet the rampant exam oriented nature of teaching and learning has  steered the direction of action research studies towards favoring technical-based designs;  (2) The theory-research-practice mismatch due  the accusations that university academics’ educational research do not serve context specific needs by underestimating or underrating the gravity of the situations that teachers face in the classroom, by reducing the problems to identifiable variables whose relationships are hypothesized and tested, and by dismissing  teachers’ classroom concerns as beyond the scope of their research exercises.


Sarimah Shaik Abdullah is a full time Associate Professor in the School of Education, Universiti Utara Malaysia. She was Deputy Dean of the school twice, in 2007 and in 2019-2020.  She is currently the Deputy Director at the University Teaching and Learning Centre (UTLC).  Sarimah received Bachelors of Arts degree from the Texas A&M University, USA, and Masters in Education from the University of North Texas, USA. Following this she became a secondary school teacher under the Malaysian Ministry of Education and had taught English for seven years.  Her experience as a school teacher had inspired her to initiate her own journey in understanding learning and learners which led her to join Universiti Utara Malaysia as a lecturer.  Soon afterwards she moved on to complete her PhD study in Educational Psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK to examine reading in English as a social practice by means of action research exploration.  Since then, Sarimah has continued to pursue her interest in researching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate research on learning as social practice, adolescent literacy, and classroom interaction and she encourages the use of action research and qualitative research in their research studies.  Sarimah has conducted trainings to teachers, lecturers, researchers and students on action research, qualitative research, and NVIVO qualitative data analysis.


Jasper Vincent Q. ALONTAGA, Ph.D.

Director, Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology (ASIST)

De La Salle University – Manila

‘Balancing Certainty and Uncertainty in Online Distance Learning’

The flexibility that ODL offers is helping it gain more popularity for administrators, educators and students. As we continue to recalibrate our courses and ourselves for ODL, let us critically reflect on which course elements and learning experiences demand certainty and uncertainty. In this presentation, we will look at practices to achieve this balance in our quest for high quality online learning.


Dr. Jasper Vincent Alontaga is an Associate Professor under the Educational Leadership and Management Department, College of Education at De La Salle University – Manila, Philippines. Currently, he is also serving as the Director of the Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology (ASIST), handling training of teachers on Blended/Online Learning and Canvas LMS course development. His research interests include how educational technologies can be used as a diversity accommodation tool for both regular and learners with special learning needs. On a personal note, he is an avid Heroclix player - which is a collectible miniatures game that uses the Clix system and centers on the world of superhero comic books, especially the Marvel and DC Comics universes. Or in layman's terms: superhero chess.



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