The Teacher Researcher <ul><li>Action Research Explained </li></ul>
The aim of ‘conventional’ research is generally to answer the question “What is happening here?” whilst the aim of action research is to answer the question “How can I improve what is happening here?”
Taking the time to reflect critically on the things we are doing in our classrooms is perhaps the most effective thing we can do to ensure that what we are doing is having the desired outcomes, and is changing our practice in the ways we want it to." (Wenmoth, 2007)
So teachers can focus on what interests them as teachers at a level appropriate to them To put teachers in the ‘learner’ situation where they are also engaged in inquiry To challenge and/or confirm our beliefs and assumptions as teachers To have time to talk and share with colleagues about teaching To contribute to the knowledge pool in our schools, our cluster and our profession
Teacher Proffessional Development Workshops and meetings Class based research The Traditional View Through Action Research Focus on Teaching not Learning Assumes transition of knowledge from ‘Expert’ Learner has knowledge to build on. Based on learner’s point of view
How can internet resources via a data projector, be used to enhance learning within the Visual Arts curriculum areas? What are effective strategies for using learning objects to enhance my numeracy programme? How can I provide an extension Mathematics programme for a gifted group of children through with the support of ICT? How can I provide an extension writing programme for a gifted group of children through the use of a wiki?
From facilitator From lead teacher From EPIC database From the world wide web
Did I achieve my desired outcome? Based on my experiences and evidence, how can I adapt my idea to improve outcomes?
This is in essence a form of teacher inquiry. Shouldn’t we ask that our teachers as well as our children have inquiring minds?
What are you going to do and why? How do you know what ‘good practice’ is? How will you know when you have succeeded? What steps will you take? Have you considered your own skills and the experiences of your students? Will you need extra support? At what time will you complete each phase of the project? Have you allowed time for reflection and review to inform next phase? Readings Data collection Start from needs of children rather than the ICT tool Analysing practice
Start of Term 1 Discuss ideas with teachers at same level from other schools. Review some reading material related to ICT and age group Decide on possible idea to trial in classroom. Do some PD on action research. Identify other teachers with similar interests. Begin researching options for action plan. Think about what PD would help with research.
End of Term 2 Discuss any new ideas. Share progress so far. Share ‘tips and tricks’ Have some examples of work to show if appropriate. Talk about barriers and solutions Share any interesting reading material.
Term Four Share stories and anecdotes from research time. Each teacher to share the results of their research in a digital format Think ahead to possible collaborations in the next year. Have samples of actual work of children to share. Celebrate the success of the group (maybe a few drinks?) Digital reports to be put online where appropriate.
While teachers hold initial concerns about additional work involved in action research projects, these tend to dissolve as teachers realise the benefits these projects have on their practice and the enjoyment of their profession.