Action Research

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  • 1. ACTION RESEARCHTrudy Thorson & Kendra BeliveauED 800November 19th, 2012

2. ACTION RESEARCH Action research is characterized as research thatis done by teachers for themselves(Mertler, 2009). Teachers examine their ownclassrooms, instructional strategies, assessmentprocedures, and interactions with student learnersin order to improve their quality and effectiveness. 3. WHAT ACTION RESEARCH IS AND IS NOTWhat it isWhat it is not A process that improves Problem-solvingeducation through change Collaborative Doing research on or about people Cyclical Linear Practical and relevant Conclusive Within context of teachers Generalizing to largerenvironmentpopulations How we can do things better Why we do certain things Explores, discovers and seeks The implementation ofto find creative solutions predetermined answers A way to improve instructional A fadpractice by observing, revising,and reflecting 4. VIDEO: ACTION RESEARCH MADE SIMPLE Action Research Made Simple Characteristics Addresses Real Life Problems Constructs Knowledge Promotes Change Collaborative / Participatory 5. A BRIEF HISTORY OF ACTION RESEARCHFERRANCE (2000) Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist and educator, firstformulated the idea of performing research in a naturalsetting in the 1940s. No distinction between the research study and theproblem to be solved. Proposed that research should be cyclical rather thanlinear. Stephen Corey was among the first to use actionresearch in education and he stated the following: We are convinced that the disposition to studythe consequences of our teaching is more likely to change and improve our practices than is reading about what someone else has discovered of his teaching (Corey, 1953, p. 70). 6. MODELS AND TYPES OFACTION RESEARCH 7. MODELS OF ACTION RESEARCH Many models exist but all share the same basicprinciples which are: A central problem or topic Observation or monitoring takes place Collection and synthesis of data Some type of action is taken Next stage of action research (varies) 8. ACTION RESEARCH INTERACTING SPIRALERNEST STRINGER (2007) 9. LEWINS ACTION RESEARCH SPIRAL(MERTLER, 2009) 10. CALHOUNS ACTION RESEARCH CYCLE(MERTLER, 2009) 11. BACHMANS ACTION RESEARCH CYCLEMERTLER (2009) 12. RIELS ACTION RESEARCH MODEL(MERTLER, 2009) 13. PIGGOT-IRVINES ACTION RESEARCH MODELMERTLER (2009) 14. TYPES OF ACTION RESEARCH (FERRANCE, 2000) 15. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCH 16. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCH(FERRANCE, 2000) 17. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCHFERRANCE (2000) Identify a problem area Meaningful, attainable and within teachers influence Higher order question that is specific and concise Collection and organization of data Portfolios, interviews, photos, diaries, fieldnotes, videos, journals, casestudies, checklists, surveys Appropriate, easy to collect, and readily available Triangulate data (i.e. use three or more sources) Organize to identify themes; can be arranged bygender, classroom, school, grade level, age, etc. Interpretation of data Analyze and identify major themes Quantitative or qualitative 18. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCH Action based on data Use the data collected complemented by currentresearch to develop a plan of action Alter only one variable Document and collect data during action phase Reflection Evaluate the results Was the intervention successful? Can the positiveresults be directly attributed to the variable addressed? If unsuccessful, what could be done in subsequentattempts to elicit more favorable results? 19. UNDERSTANDING OUR LEARNERS AND DEVELOPINGREFLECTIVE PRACTICE: CONDUCTING ACTION RESEARCHWITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSSOWA (2009) The study outlined action research projects of sixgraduate student teachers in an ESL Methods Course.Three projects are described in the paper and we willoutline one of these to show how it reflects the steps ofaction research. Identify the Problem Students were not able to make connections betweenthe sound symbol relationships necessary for worddecoding in reading and spelling (Sowa, 2009, p.1029). 20. UNDERSTANDING OUR LEARNERS AND DEVELOPINGREFLECTIVE PRACTICE: CONDUCTING ACTION RESEARCHWITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSSOWA (2009) Gather Data Reading assessment: Pre- and Post-Tests Work Samples Interpret DataAreading pre-test was used as a baseline Student samples showed beginning writing and spellingstrategies 21. UNDERSTANDING OUR LEARNERS AND DEVELOPINGREFLECTIVE PRACTICE: CONDUCTING ACTION RESEARCHWITH ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERSSOWA (2009) Act on Evidence Re-teach phonemic awareness to try to improve ELLsreading, writing and spelling skills. Taught phonics in context Worked on spelling strategies including letter-soundrelationships and letter-sound combinations Evaluate Results Work samples indicated an improvement in spelling andreading but only a slight growth in reading. The reading post-test showed improvement amongststudents to decode words and recognize miscues. 22. ACTION RESEARCH: USING WORDLES FORTEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGE WRITINGBARALT, PENNESTRI, & SELVANDIN (2011)Used Mackey and Gasss (2005) explanation of action research as framework for study.A very comprehensive research report which includes three sections:1. Explanation of data visualization as a learning tool (creates a rationale for the research study)2. The action research report conducted by the authors using Wordle3. The outcome of the project and suggestions for how educators can use word clouds in foreign language classroomsContext: 18 students in an intermediate-level Spanish FL class at a private research university who met for 50 minutes three times a week. Four compositions were to be written during the semester and students were expected to be able to: present information formally with an introduction, provide supporting paragraphs and a conclusion; use accurate grammar; and use instructors feedback in their writing. The expectations were clearly communicated to the students. 23. ACTION RESEARCH: USING WORDLES FORTEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGE WRITINGBARALT, PENNESTRI, & SELVANDIN (2011)Identify the ProblemTwo main issues in students writing:1. Continuous repetition of errors2. Reliance on high frequency words without attempting to use new vocabulary in writingData CollectionWord frequency counts from students compositions and a whole-class-based word cloud.Teaching reflection about the class discussionInstructor asked students about their perceptions of the use of Wordle in the writing processThis procedure was used for all four compositions. 24. ACTION RESEARCH: USING WORDLES FORTEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGE WRITINGBARALT, PENNESTRI, & SELVANDIN (2011) Act on Evidence Wordles helped to show students progress Students used more vocabulary in their compositions Facilitated class discussions about the writing process Evaluate Results Both the students and instructor agreed that usingWordles created excitement about writing. Effective, novel, and enjoyable. Students incorporated more varied vocabulary, usedgrammar more accurately, and had more content in theirwriting. Workshop days became more student-centered 25. ACTION RESEARCH: USING WORDLES FORTEACHING FOREIGN LANGUAGE WRITINGBARALT, PENNESTRI, & SELVANDIN (2011) Limitations Lack of generalizability Findings of action research are typically onlyrelevant to the specific classroom beinginvestigated, its students and its own uniquecharacteristics It may yield different results in other classrooms,contexts or languages. As with any technology, teachers must ensure thatthe software works with their computer systems;Wordle requires a Java-enabled web browser 26. WRITING THE ACTION RESEARCHREPORT 27. WRITING ACTION RESEARCH REPORTS Reports vary depending on thevariables, context, and action involved but mostinclude: Introduction Area of focus Defining the variables Research questions Review of related literature Description of the Intervention or Innovation Data Collection and Considerations Data Analysis and Interpretation Conclusions Reflection and Action Plan (Mertler, 2009) Examples of Action Research Reports written forprofessional development presentations 28. DISADVANTAGES OF ACTIONRESEARCH Lack of Time Action Research is demanding of space and time, bothof which are stretched to their limits. Validity Inevitable research bias Results are not Generalizable Although a researchers findings may be tested byanother teacher in their own classroom Range of Models and Process Action Research is a messy process and the constraintsof the models may trap teachers 29. VIDEO: WHAT NAGS YOU ABOUTYOUR TEACHING PRACTICE? Video: 30. TIME TO REFLECT! After viewing our presentation on action research,what nags you about your teaching practices thatyoud like to change? At your table groups, use the questions on the nextslide to come up with a possible researchquestion(s) that you could test in you ownclassroom. Examples include but are not limited to: teachingmethod, identifying a problem, examining an areaof interest, classroom environment, classroommanagement, evaluation, etc. 31. ACTIVITY:WRITE ACTION RESEARCH QUESTIONSPINE (2009) I would like to improve by __________________. I am perplexed by _____________________. I am really curious about ____________________. Something I really think would make a difference is_______________________. Something I would really like to change is____________________. What happens to student learning in my classroomwhen I ___________________? How can I implement ______________________? How can I improve _______________________? 32. REFERENCESBaralt, M., Pennestri, S., & Selvandin, M. (2011). Using Wordles to TeachForeign Language Writing. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2), 12-22.Ferrance, E. (2000). Action Research. Providence, RI, USA. RetrievedNovember 14, 2012 from