Thesis choice by Nurlybek

Frankly speaking, I am still not sure about the topic for my thesis. I guess it might be something like this “The relationship between  conducting lessons in team-teaching and the level of local teachers’ professional development”.

Why this topic is interesting for me?

In 2010 Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS schools) in different parts of Kazakhstan began to hire foreign teachers in different subjects for conducting lessons. But they should conduct lessons together with local teachers forming a team for teaching. This approach is called team-teaching.

I am a teacher of English in NIS Semey. I have been also involved into this project. I have been working with foreign teachers conducting lessons together with them.

So, five years passed. Now it is high time for us as teachers to analyze the results of the project and make some preliminary conclusions. Also it is time for making some changes if they are needed and summarize the practical experience local educators as well as their foreign partners have gained during that period.

I will try to find how the team-teaching approach influences on the level of local teachers’ professional development. Does it help to increase/decrease it or has no effect on it?

I hope to hear different opinions from subject teachers, various professional stories from beginning teachers as well as from experienced educators.

I think I should conduct a qualitative study which includes a survey, an interview and some other tools (I have not decided yet which ones).

I hope that the time given to us is quite enough to make my little research. This is my first research study where I’ll use information from the book written by Creswell and I swear that I will try to do my best to get the most reliable and valid results. I am not sure if my findings will be reliable and valid.

What challenges have you faced in the first year?

When I applied for the Master’s Programme I know that it would not be easy for me to work and study at the same time. I made my choice intentionally.

Talking about the challenges I faced in my first year of study I should say that there was only one BIG challenge for me. That is time management. Sometimes it was rather difficult to find time for the given assignments during day-time, even if you planned it, because of unexpected tasks from school administration. That is why I often worked and still work late at night drinking coffee or other energetic drinks.

I have found an article about pros and cons of studying a part-time master’s. If you are interested, welcome to the link below:

7 thoughts on “Thesis choice by Nurlybek

  1. I think team-teaching is a good topic to investigate. Since I work at NIS, we are also involved in this project. I am afraid there are many issue related to team-teaching such as perceprion of team-teaching, local teachers lack of English skills, cultural backgrounds.
    I have been working with international teacher for 1 year, and though we easily understand eah other, there are some problems with lesson planning. Teacm-teaching requires additional time of both local and international teacher.
    I would suggest you doing mixed research including quantitative analysis of team-teaching influence on students’ academic achievements. Did students who were taught by two teachers improve their skills? Was the influence of team-teaching positive or negative?


  2. Hi!

    I’m very far from NIS system. That’s why I can’t say exact things basing on real experience. As far as I see you want to investigate the influence of team teaching approach on local teachers ‘professional development. If I’m wrong, will you please identify exactly what you mean by “relationship”? Also, I think that team teaching and professional development are wide and deep areas of studying. What if you “specify” team teaching memebers’ perceptions on; compiling a syllabus, teaching and examination materials, evaluation rubrics,or some other areas.

    Due to the thesis topic, I also was not sure about my topic and changed it on the last day when we had sessions with supervisors. At Dr. Jonbekova’s sessions I identified that I am not the only person who wants to alter the direction of the research. Most of us defined a new topic regarding to those sessions we had. Each of us seems to find the area of questions that we feel more comfortable with.


    1. Dear Nurlybek,

      Both topics are interesting for further academic research. Exploring professional development and team-teaching at the site of NIS seems to be reasonable and achievable since you are part of NIS community.
      To address the research questions, a quantitative correlational design should be employed. Precise research questions will help you to explore whether there is a positive or negative correaltion between the variables.


  3. Dear Nurlybek,

    We have already talked about this while being in class, but let me make a contribution and share some of my thoughts concerning your thesis topic.

    First, you may want to be as specific as possible and identify an issue within team-teaching you are planning to investigate. Is it ineffectiveness of team-teaching? Or do you want to research the extent to that working with a team-teacher promotes professional development of a local teacher?

    Second, actuality of your topic is that no research has been conducted on team-teaching in Kazakhstan, so there is an obvious gap in literature. However, you may face difficulties with a literature review, as far as there are certain discrepancies in understanding of team-teaching in Kazakhstan and west countries. A great number of sources define team-teaching as interdisciplinary collaboration of teachers (e.g. a teacher of biology conducts a lesson with a teacher of chemistry), whereas in our country it is about local and foreign teachers working together as a team.


  4. Nurlybek, thank you for posting your blog and choosing relevant and urgent topic of research.

    From your explanation I could see that you are really interested in your topic. However, you wrote that you are not sure with your topic. But I think the topic is chosen, the only thing you need to manage with is to identify focus of your research. It seems like you have dual focus: team teaching and local teachers` professionalism.

    To my mind, it seems rational to identify first how local and foreign teachers understand and perceive team-teaching. Secondly, how they characterize and arrange their roles within lesson plan and lesson procedure. Because, errors and diversity in understanding of team-teaching concept in terms of local and foreign teachers could be one of the reasons that lead to misunderstanding in educational setting.

    As an another perspective, I suggest you to distinguish to what extent local teachers are ready to collaborate with foreign collegues. The same with foreign educators, sometimes even they are not prepared enough in terms of subject knowledge and methodology; they might be not aware of Kazakhstani education priorities and students` learning styles and pecularities, that causes concerns within team-teaching.

    Finally, to make one more contribution to your study, I would like to suggest some reputable resources that may give you an insight and inspiration!)) Good luck!

    Shamshidinova, K., Ayubayeva, N., & Bridges, D. (2014). Implementing radical change: Nazarbayev intellectual schools as agents of change. In D. Bridges (Ed.), Educational reform and internationalisation: The case of school reform in Kazakhstan (pp. 71–82). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Niyozov, S., & Shamatov, D. (2010). Teachers surviving to teach: Implications for post-Soviet education and society in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. In J. Zajda (Ed.), Globalisation, ideology and education policy reforms (Vol. 11, pp. 153–174). Dordrecht: Springer.


  5. Dear friends! Thank you very much for your comments. You gave me some new ideas about my thesis. I have to print your comments out and have a more detailed look at them.


  6. Nurlybek,

    It was good of you to provide a link to an interesting article about studying part-time for a Master’s. There seems to be a lot of interest in our group in team teaching. You will get a lot of discussion going about that. I noticed that aakhmetova gave you a lot of good suggestions to get you going.

    Watch out for word order in questions: Why IS this topic interesting for me?

    You have some one and two-sentence paragraphs. Try to develop them more. For example, you say: ” I am a teacher of English in NIS Semey. I have been also involved into this project. I have been working with foreign teachers conducting lessons together with them.” It would have been good to tell the reader more about your experiences teaching with foreign teachers at NIS Semey. Remember that a paragraph is a GROUP of related sentences. Your main idea (or topic) sentence is near the beginning, and then you have sentences to support or develop it (in the form of reasons, facts, explanations, evidence, etc.).

    Have fun with your blogging.

    I hope you like my new blog photo.

    4.5 out of 5


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