Action Research


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  • Action Research

    1. 1. Action Research Lena Arena ICT Consultant K-12 Ph: 9582 2810 [email_address]
    2. 2. What is action research (action learning)? <ul><li>Put simply, action research is “learning by doing” - a group of people identify a problem, do something to resolve it, see how successful their efforts were, and if not satisfied, try again. (O’Brien, 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>A central thesis of action research is that reflection has a critical role to play in building the capacity of teachers as researchers of their own teaching practices (Atweh, 1998; Imel, 1992; McKeruan, 1996). </li></ul>
    3. 3. An action research approach <ul><li>Based on the belief that: </li></ul><ul><li>when teachers, working collegially in a small team, </li></ul><ul><li>are given the opportunity to reflect on their own practice, </li></ul><ul><li>share their expertise with their colleagues, and </li></ul><ul><li>take control of their own learning, </li></ul>
    4. 4. An action research approach <ul><li>they will not only increase their repertoire of effective teaching and assessment practices, </li></ul><ul><li>but will also help to identify and resolve significant workplace challenges and issues. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Stages in an action research project Plan Act Reflect Observe Identifying Informing organising Trialling collecting questioning Analysing reporting sharing Evaluating implementing revisiting
    6. 6. Another diagram
    7. 7. Participants control the direction <ul><li>Teachers in the action research team decide on the area of inquiry and take control over their own learning. They decide on the goals, set the pace, choose the activities, judge the success of the project and make decisions about future actions. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Learning partnerships <ul><li>School-based action research teams often form partnerships with bodies external to the school, such as professional associations, universities and other tertiary institutions and consultants. They do this to access existing expertise in the field and to obtain an outside perspective on their work and learning. </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Problem Identification : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the issue to be changed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look elsewhere for information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop the questions and methods to be used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a plan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is the problem stated clearly and in the form of a question?   </li></ul><ul><li>Is it broad enough to allow for a range of insights and findings?   </li></ul><ul><li>Is it narrow enough to be manageable within the timeframe? </li></ul><ul><li>What resources exist and what information from others might be useful in helping you to frame your question, decide on types of data to collect, or to help you in interpreting your findings? </li></ul>Stage I – Planning
    10. 10. Stage 1 - Planning <ul><li>Planning the project requires team members to: </li></ul><ul><li>identify one or two educational challenges or opportunities to be addressed by the project team, and perhaps at least one individual challenge (e.g. developing competence in relation to one or more elements of the Quality teaching framework) for each team member to pursue </li></ul><ul><li>determine measurable and/or observable project team and individual outcomes that are achievable within the established timeline for the project </li></ul>
    11. 11. Stage 2 Acting <ul><li>Trial the change following your plan </li></ul><ul><li>Collect and compile evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Question the process and make changes as required </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear about each step you take, ensure your timeframe is manageable. </li></ul><ul><li>Taking action is about implementing the action plan. It may include teaching, assessing, team meetings and discussions, workshops, in-class support and peer observations, input from external sources (such as an academic partner or a regional consultant), reflection and sharing of expertise, ideas, experiences, thoughts and feelings. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Stage 3 - Observing <ul><li>Analysis of Data -describe, record, discuss and reflect upon the action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse the evidence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collate the findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can you learn from the data?  What patterns, insights, and new understandings can you find? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What meaning do these patterns, insights, and new understandings have for your practice? for your students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share your findings with participants and colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Action research teams use a variety of strategies to gather evidence and describe action. This may include discussions between team members and support personnel to clarify and share observations, thoughts and ideas, interviews, focus group discussions, journals or learning logs, portfolios, video scenarios, photographs, and annotated student work samples. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Stage 4 - Reflecting <ul><li>Involves teachers in considering not only what they are doing in the classroom … but also why they are doing it. </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher knowledge of educational theories and research can assist teachers to reflect critically on their current practice. When they become conscious of the theories implicit in their practice, they are better able to determine whether there is a need for fundamental change, </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Given the benefits to be obtained by students engaging in cooperative learning, to what extent do I provide for cooperative learning in my classroom? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Stage 4 – Reflecting <ul><li>Evaluate the first cycle of the process </li></ul><ul><li>Implement the new findings or new strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Revisit the process </li></ul><ul><li>What will you do differently in your classroom as a result of this study? </li></ul><ul><li>What might you recommend to others? </li></ul><ul><li>How will you write about what you have learned so that the findings will be useful to you and to others? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Critical Reflection is important <ul><li>Action research teams can use a variety of observing, describing, recording, discussing and reflecting tools, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>observation and reflection guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teaching logs/journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>observation checklists, coding sheets, surveys and individual and focus group interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>student work and assessment tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>students’ feedback through discussions, photos and video- and audio-tapes of teaching practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>records of classroom discourse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>records of team meeting discussions, </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. The QT framework as a reflection tool <ul><li>The dimensions and elements of the NSW DET Quality teaching framework provide a comprehensive set of criteria, based in educational theory and research, that teachers can use to reflect upon their current teaching practices, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent do I ensure that students are regularly engaged in higher-order thinking? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent do I ensure that students are regularly engaged in substantive communication? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent do I communicate my high expectations of all students? How? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent do my lessons employ narrative to enrich student understanding? </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Considerations <ul><li>Existing teaching practices can also be considered in relation to general ethical principles, such as equity, concern for others and social justice, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent are my teaching practices promoting caring personal relationships among students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent are my teaching practices promoting multicultural understanding? </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Final Thoughts <ul><li>When learning something, exploring possibilities, creating ideas to solve problems ...... THINK BIG. </li></ul><ul><li>When applying some new learning, doing something to achieve an end, being operational .... THINK DETAIL in a systematic way and without losing sight of the big picture. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Quotes for thought… <ul><li>Schooling is an 18th Century institution using 19th Century structures teaching 20th Century curriculum to 21st Century students. </li></ul><ul><li>Mark McCrindle, social trend researcher, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists </li></ul><ul><li>Eric Hoffer </li></ul>
    20. 20. Articles/resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Action Research in Education – available from PLLDD (Professional Learning and Leadership development Directorate) </li></ul><ul><li>Handout- Action Learning Framework by Tony Yeigh ( an example Learning Journal) </li></ul>