Professional Development
Through Action Research
OVERVIEW
Defining „research‟ and „action research‟
 Differentiating „classroom‟, „teacher‟ and
„action research‟
 Questi...
PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION
How do you think „action research‟
differs from „regular research‟?
 What are the differences betw...
DEFINING RESEARCH
Research“the organized, systematic
search for answers to the questions
we ask” (Hatch and Lazaraton,
199...
AN ALTERNATIVE PARADIGM
ACTION RESEARCH
An iterative cycle of planning,
observing, acting and reflecting
 Involves “small...
Goals of Action Research


Action Research has two main goals:
1. To seek local understanding
2. To bring about improveme...
Three Terms That Are
Sometimes Confused
Classroom Research:
Location: Where?
 Action Research:
Method: How?
 Teacher Res...
Classroom Research, Action
Research &Teacher Research&
Classroom research can be
conducted by teachers or other
researcher...
Classroom Research, Action
Research &Teacher Research
Action research can be conducted by
teachers and other researchers, ...
THREE TERMS THAT ARE
SOMETIMES CONFUSED

2.Teacher Research
1.Classroom Research
4.Classroom Action
Research by Teacher

3...
1ST DISCUSSION TASK
Write down three issues / questions you
have or things you would like to know
about your teaching and/...
Steps in doing Action
Research
The research is initiated by a
question, problem or puzzle
 An action is initiated
 Relev...
THE ACTION RESEARCH
CYCLE

Reflect

Plan

Observe

Act
THE ACTION RESEARCH
CYCLE

plan

Act

Reflect

Observe
Example of Action Research
: Cycle 1Step 1: Problem/puzzle
identification -- “Student motivation is
declining over the cou...
Example of Action Research:
Cycle 1
Step 3: Hypothesis formation “Students do not feel they are making
progress from their...
Example of Action Research:
Cycle 1


Step 5: Initiate action and observe
outcomes -“Motivation is improving,
but not as ...
Example of Action Research:
Cycle 2
Step 6: Identification of follow-up
puzzle - “How can Iensure more
involvement and com...
Example of Action Research:
Cycle 2


Step 8: Second round of action and
observation “At the end of each unit of
work, le...
2ND REFLECTION&
DISCUSSION TASK


What do you see as the payoffs,
problems and solutions in doing action
research?
PAYOFFS
1. Each teacher learned more about
their own theories, or frames for
teaching
 2. The frames for teaching of the
...
CHANGES REPORTED BY
TEACHERS
Teachers:
Became less directive
Used a greater variety of behaviors
Praised more, criticized ...
CHANGES REPORTED BY
TEACHERS
Teachers:
Spent less class time talking
Made greater use of group work
Elicited more divergen...
PROBLEMS / CHALLENGES
Lack of time
 Lack of expertise
 Lack of ongoing support
 Fear of being revealed as an
incompeten...
SOLUTIONS
There must be someone „on the
ground‟ to „own‟ the project.
 Experienced advisors must be
available.
 Teachers...
SOLUTIONS
Provide teachers with release time
from some face-to-face teaching.
 Create collaborative teams.
 Start small....
RETURNING TO REFLECTION
TASK 1
1. Review one of the three questions
you have or things you would like to
know about your t...
Steps in the Action Research
Process
1. Problem identification
 2. Preliminary investigation
 3. Hypothesis formation
 ...
REFLECTION AND
DISCUSSION TASK 3


Using the steps in the action research
process as a template, and the issue /
question...
FURTHER INFORMATION
Bailey, K.M., A. Curtis and D. Nunan. 2001.
Pursuing Professional Development: The Self
as Source. Bos...
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  1. 1. Professional Development Through Action Research
  2. 2. OVERVIEW Defining „research‟ and „action research‟  Differentiating „classroom‟, „teacher‟ and „action research‟  Questions that are appropriate for action research  Steps in the action research process  Payoffs, problems and solutions  Developing an action plan 
  3. 3. PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION How do you think „action research‟ differs from „regular research‟?  What are the differences between „classroom‟, „teacher‟ and „action research‟  What are some of the questions that might be appropriate for action research? 
  4. 4. DEFINING RESEARCH Research“the organized, systematic search for answers to the questions we ask” (Hatch and Lazaraton, 1991:1).  A “systematic process of inquiry consisting of three elements or components: (1) a question, problem or hypothesis, (2) data, and (3) analysis and interpretation” (Nunan, 1992:3). 
  5. 5. AN ALTERNATIVE PARADIGM ACTION RESEARCH An iterative cycle of planning, observing, acting and reflecting  Involves “small-scale interventions”  Is done by practitioners in naturalistic settings  Involves a wide range of data types 
  6. 6. Goals of Action Research  Action Research has two main goals: 1. To seek local understanding 2. To bring about improvement in the context under investigation
  7. 7. Three Terms That Are Sometimes Confused Classroom Research: Location: Where?  Action Research: Method: How?  Teacher Research: Agency: Who? 
  8. 8. Classroom Research, Action Research &Teacher Research& Classroom research can be conducted by teachers or other researchers, using many research methods  Teacher research can be done inside or outside of classrooms by teachers, using many research methods 
  9. 9. Classroom Research, Action Research &Teacher Research Action research can be conducted by teachers and other researchers, both inside and outside classrooms  Action research can be conducted by teachers in their own classrooms 
  10. 10. THREE TERMS THAT ARE SOMETIMES CONFUSED 2.Teacher Research 1.Classroom Research 4.Classroom Action Research by Teacher 3.Action Research
  11. 11. 1ST DISCUSSION TASK Write down three issues / questions you have or things you would like to know about your teaching and/or your students‟ learning. Share you issues / questions in groups and explain why you chose these.
  12. 12. Steps in doing Action Research The research is initiated by a question, problem or puzzle  An action is initiated  Relevant data are collected  The data are analyzed and interpreted  The results are made public  The process is under the control of the classroom teacher 
  13. 13. THE ACTION RESEARCH CYCLE Reflect Plan Observe Act
  14. 14. THE ACTION RESEARCH CYCLE plan Act Reflect Observe
  15. 15. Example of Action Research : Cycle 1Step 1: Problem/puzzle identification -- “Student motivation is declining over the course of the semester.”  Step 2: Preliminary investigation -“Interviews with students confirm my suspicion.” 
  16. 16. Example of Action Research: Cycle 1 Step 3: Hypothesis formation “Students do not feel they are making progress from their efforts. Learning logs will provide evidence to learners of progress.”  Step 4: Plan intervention -“Get students to complete learning logs each week.” 
  17. 17. Example of Action Research: Cycle 1  Step 5: Initiate action and observe outcomes -“Motivation is improving, but not as rapidly as desired.”
  18. 18. Example of Action Research: Cycle 2 Step 6: Identification of follow-up puzzle - “How can Iensure more involvement and commitment by learners to their own learning process?”  Step 7: Second hypothesis “Developing a reflective learning attitude on the part of learners will enhance involvement and motivation to learn.” 
  19. 19. Example of Action Research: Cycle 2  Step 8: Second round of action and observation “At the end of each unit of work, learners complete a selfevaluation of learning progress and attainment of goals.”
  20. 20. 2ND REFLECTION& DISCUSSION TASK  What do you see as the payoffs, problems and solutions in doing action research?
  21. 21. PAYOFFS 1. Each teacher learned more about their own theories, or frames for teaching  2. The frames for teaching of the participants were related to the bigger questions of second language education and education in general.  3. Action research was a powerful means of facilitating change (Lewis,1992). 
  22. 22. CHANGES REPORTED BY TEACHERS Teachers: Became less directive Used a greater variety of behaviors Praised more, criticized less Were more aware of students‟ feelings Used the target language more Incorporated student ideas more 
  23. 23. CHANGES REPORTED BY TEACHERS Teachers: Spent less class time talking Made greater use of group work Elicited more divergent open-ended student responses Made greater effort to get students to participate
  24. 24. PROBLEMS / CHALLENGES Lack of time  Lack of expertise  Lack of ongoing support  Fear of being revealed as an incompetent teacher  Fear of producing a public account of their research for a wider (unknown) audience 
  25. 25. SOLUTIONS There must be someone „on the ground‟ to „own‟ the project.  Experienced advisors must be available.  Teachers must be given adequate training in how to do research. 
  26. 26. SOLUTIONS Provide teachers with release time from some face-to-face teaching.  Create collaborative teams.  Start small. 
  27. 27. RETURNING TO REFLECTION TASK 1 1. Review one of the three questions you have or things you would like to know about your teaching and/or your students‟ learning. Compare these ideas with one or two other people.  2. Brainstorm „next steps‟ in researching your question. 
  28. 28. Steps in the Action Research Process 1. Problem identification  2. Preliminary investigation  3. Hypothesis formation  4. Intervention  5. Data collection  6. Data analysis  7. Expected outcomes 
  29. 29. REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION TASK 3  Using the steps in the action research process as a template, and the issue / question you developed earlier, create your own action research plan.
  30. 30. FURTHER INFORMATION Bailey, K.M., A. Curtis and D. Nunan. 2001. Pursuing Professional Development: The Self as Source. Boston: Thomson Learning / Heinle Burns, A. 1999. Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Edge, J. (ed.) 2001. Action Research. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. Nunan, D. and Bailey, K.M. (2009). Exploring second language classroom research. Boston: Heinle. Wallace, M.J. (1998). Action research for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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