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Educational Research: Action Research in Schools

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Educational Research: Action Research in Schools EDU 8603 Educational Research Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D. The question of the practical significance of research ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Educational Research: Action Research in Schools


1
Educational ResearchAction Research in Schools
EDU 8603 Educational Research Richard M. Jacobs,
OSA, Ph.D.
2
  • The question of the practical significance of
    research findings has increasingly become an
    issue in educational research during the past two
    decades

3
  • Although research may be helpful for educators in
    schools to solve the problems confronting them

most published research does not speak directly
to the real world needs that educators in
schools have
or is difficult to access, understand, and use
4
in addition, the focus of most research is
objective and out there rather than
subjective and in my practice
5
  • Focusing upon these needs

educators can conduct, practice-oriented
research to improve their classroom practice
by collecting data about their daily activities,
problems, and outcomes for the purpose of
improving themselves as teachers and their
students as learners
6
  • action research...

teacher-initiated, school-based research used to
improve the practitioners practice by doing or
changing something
7
where the teacher is the researcher and the
teachers practice is the focus of the research
8
  • The main reason for teachers to engage in action
    research is to learn from and to improve their
    own teaching activities

by re-examining their practice and altering
their taken-for-granted beliefs and understandings
9
  • but, action research can also be used to form a
    more egalitarian community of professional
    educators

as principals, teachers, and other staff conduct
in-school research
used in school improvement efforts as the
research results are applied to the school and/or
its classrooms
10
Four assumptions underlying action research
1. teachers should have multiple opportunities to
engage in professional growth and development
2. good teachers have an intrinsic desire to
improve their practice and need data to do so
11
3. given the opportunity and resources (the most
scarce resource being time), teachers can carry
research studies that can inform their practice
4. no matter how conclusive research findings may
be, they may not be applicable to certain
classrooms, given their idiosyncratic features
12
Steps in action research
1. identification of the problem or topic
2. data gathering
3. decision making
4. resulting action
5. assessment/evaluation
13
  1. identification of the problem or topic

derived form a review of actual practice
is more narrowly-stated than global
leads to the formulation of a hypothesis
14
  1. data gathering

involves the collection of both informal,
anecdotal data as well as formal, objective data
provides the foundation for the researcher to
examine, critique, and better understand the
researchers practice
15
because the focus of action research emphasizes
particular settings (e.g., a classroom), the
issue of generalizability is not accorded priority
at the same time, action research must be
purposeful, systematic, data-based and evaluative
in its conduct
16
  • anecdotal data...

information derived from recollections about
people, statements, behaviors, interactions and
other observations
17
  • the use of two data sources presents several
    challenges

the collection of objective data must be
systematized and anonymity guaranteed
the data must be compared to something (e.g., a
pre-test or predicted outcomes)
18
the specific aspects of the behaviors to be
observed must be identified a priori to their
performance and evaluation
19
  1. decision making

the process of interpreting the data and making
a determination about how one will respond to the
data
in action research, the teacher is the data
interpreter and decision maker
20
  1. resulting action

an action-oriented response directed toward
developing insight into and improving practice
the outcome is that the researchs actions,
activities, beliefs, assumptions, and effects are
positively impacted by the findings
21
  1. assessment and evaluation

assessment making a determination about
improvement based upon a new standard emerging
from the action research findings
evaluation identifying the practice-oriented
values that the researcher is now capable of
drawing out of practice
22
The role of reflection in action research...
  • reflection is an important aspect of action
    research

especially formal, tangible evidence directly
related to ones practice
less helpful are post hoc reflections
of little use are momentary, fleeting,
intuitive, and tacit reflections
23
Validity issues in action research...
  • The role of the teacher as researcher and the
    focus upon the teachers practice raises issues
    concerning validity

and validity should be an essential feature of
any action research
24
  • to enhance validity

have students respond to questionnaires
anonymously
use clear and understandable criteria to focus
the data collection and analysis
test all claims concerning alleged improvement
in practice through triangulation
25
  • triangulation...

the utilization of knowledgeable and expert yet
differing perspectives to corroborate research
results and interpretations
26
  • common threats to validity in action research

failing to separate descriptions from
explanations
failing to understand the difference between
data and evidence
failing to collect tangible data
27
failing to define commonly understood criteria
for the aspects of practice being investigated
presenting raw data rather than summarized data
failing to differentiate between the action and
the action research
failing to validate the results
28
Comparing research methods...
  • quantitative, qualitative, and action research
    methods are research, not opinions or ad hoc
    activities

each method involving systematic inquiry into a
problem as well as collecting and interpreting
data to produce results
29
  • while quantitative and qualitative research
    methods attempt to verify or reject a hypothesis
    and, thus, to repair the problem indirectly

action research attempts to repair the problems
of practice directly
30
  • while quantitative and qualitative research
    methods are value neutral

action research reflects the researchers values
31
  • while quantitative researchers are objective and
    qualitative researchers are semi-objective in the
    process of conducting their research

researchers are subjectively involved in the
process of conducting action research
32
Mini-Quiz
  • True and false

the general purpose of action research is to
improve a practitioners practice
True
33
  • True and false

in action research, the researcher is the
central focus of the action research process
True
34
  • True and false

teacher professional development can be a form
of action research
True
35
  • True and false

good action research shares some qualities of
good quantitative and qualitative research
True
36
  • True and false

because much action research is value-neutral,
this presents a threat to its validity
False
37
  • True and false

the major difference between action research and
other research methods is that action research
aims at developing a theory about what works in
classrooms
False
38
  • True and false

post hoc reflection provides the best data for
action research
False
39
  • True and false

the data collected in action research should be
tangible
True
40
  • True and false

the topic of action research is derived from
issues arising from the application of theory to
practice
True
41
  • True and false

generalization beyond a particular classroom is
not a primary concern of most action research
True
42
  • True and false

the Achilles heel of action research is the
reliability of the findings
False
43
  • True and false

the results of action research can be used to
alter and improve professional practice
True
44
  • Fill in the blank

teacher-initiated, school-based research used to
improve the practitioners practice by doing or
changing something
action research
45
  • Fill in the blank

information derived from recollections about
people, statements, behaviors, interactions and
other observations
anecdotal data
46
  • Fill in the blank

making a determination about improvement based
upon a new standard emerging from the action
research findings
assessment
47
  • Fill in the blank

identifying the practice-oriented values that
the researcher is now capable of drawing out of
practice
evaluation
48
  • Fill in the blank

the utilization of knowledgeable and expert yet
differing perspectives to corroborate research
results and interpretations
triangulation
49
This module has focused on...
action research in schools
teacher-initiated, school-based research used to
improve the practitioners practice by doing or
changing something
50
The next module will focus on...
descriptive statistics
...the statistical procedures for describing,
synthesizing, analyzing, and interpreting
quantitative data
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