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Action Research in Education


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Dr. Sankar Prasad Mohanty

Published in: Education

Action Research in Education

  1. 1. Action Research in Education Dr. Sankar Prasad Mohanty Lecturer, Department of Education, Ravenshaw University, Cuttack Email: November 19, 2015 1
  2. 2. What is Research ? • Research is a systematic attempt to obtain answers to meaningful questions about phenomena or events. • Application of Scientific Method in study of a problem • It involves objective, impartial , empirical and logical analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to development of principles, theories, generalizations etc. November 19, 2015 2
  3. 3. Educational Research • Classroom teachers are most likely consumers of research • Research is one means of seeking answers to questions • Familiar sources of information for our questions – Tradition (ways in which we have behaved in the past; interventions in past and their effect on today) – Authority (opinions of experts; expert supports) – Common sense (human reasoning to answer a question) November 19, 2015 3
  4. 4. • Scientific Method—systematic method of answering questions more objectively – Clarify main question/problem – State a hypothesis – Collect, analyze, and interpret information – Form conclusions – Use conclusions to verify/reject the hypothesis • Educational research—application of scientific method to educational topics or questions – Process very similar to scientific method… November 19, 2015 4
  5. 5. • Generic process of educational research: – Specify the topic – Clarify the specific problem on which the research will focus – Formulate research questions and/or hypotheses – Carry out procedures to collect, analyze, and interpret data – State findings resulting from data analyses – Draw conclusions related back to questions/hypotheses November 19, 2015 5
  6. 6. – Quantitative research methods • Require numerical data • Utilize deductive reasoning (‘top-down’ approach) – Qualitative research methods • Require narrative data • Utilize inductive reasoning (‘bottom-up’ approach) November 19, 2015 6
  7. 7. Quantitative Research – Measure variables in order to test hypotheses or answer research questions – Research designs may be nonexperimental or experimental: • Non-experimental designs: –No direct control over variables (i.e., no manipulation) –Descriptive studies or designs –Comparative studies or designs –Correlational studies or designs –Causal-comparative studies or designs November 19, 2015 7
  8. 8. • Experimental designs: –Researcher has control over one or more variables –Independent and dependent variables –Experimental (or treatment) and control (or comparison) groups –Descriptive and inferential statistics –Statistical significance –Samples versus populations November 19, 2015 8
  9. 9. Qualitative Research – Broader, more holistic approach to research – No control or manipulation of variables – Triangulation is a key process – Utilizes logico-inductive analysis – Numerous research designs exist: • Phenomenological studies • Ethnographic studies • Grounded theory research • Case studies November 19, 2015 9
  10. 10. Mixed-methods research – Studies that combine both quantitative and qualitative data – Many individuals consider action research studies to be most similar to mixed-methods research (than purely quantitative or qualitative research) November 19, 2015 10
  11. 11. Deductive Reasoning vs. Inductive Reasoning Theory Hypothesis Data Confirmation Patterns Tentative hypothesis Theory Observations November 19, 2015 11
  12. 12. Types of Research Basic Research Applied Research Action Research
  13. 13. Basic Research  Basic research is designed to add to an organized body of scientific knowledge and does not necessarily produce results of immediate practical value  Formulation of theory  Contribution to the existing body of knowledge  To obtain/use empirical data to formulate, expand or evaluate theory  Pure or fundamental research  From physical sciences  Discovery of knowledge for the sake of knowledge  Little/No concern for application of findings or social usefulness of the findings November 19, 2015 13
  14. 14. Applied Research Applied research is undertaken to solve immediate , specific and practical problems Scientific method of inquiry is used Not so rigorous as in case of basic research Applied research as the name implies, is conducted for the purpose of applying, testing, theory and evaluate its usefulness in solving educational problems Most educational research studies are applied research studies Basic research is concerned with establishing general principles of learning and applied research is concerned with its utility in educational settings Both are inseparableNovember 19, 2015 14
  15. 15. Example • Research conducted with animals to determine principles of reinforcement and effects on learning • Applied research tests these principles to determine their effectiveness in improving learning (Programmed instruction) and behaviour ( behavior modification) November 19, 2015 15
  16. 16. Action Research • Action research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice, systematically and carefully, using the techniques of research. • Action research is a process of systematic reflection, enquiry and action carried out by individuals about their own practice. • Action research is a term used to describe professionals studying their own practice in order to improve it. November 19, 2015 16
  17. 17. • Action research can be described as a family of research methodologies which pursue ACTION (or Change) and RESEARCH (or Understanding) at the same time. • Action research has the potential to generate genuine and sustained improvements in schools November 19, 2015 17
  18. 18. What Is A R? • The process by which practitioners attempt to study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct, and evaluate their decisions and actions is what a number of people have called action research. (Stephen, M. Corey) Researcher is the Practitioner himself. November 19, 2015 18
  19. 19. • Systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, administrators, and Policy makers with a vested interest in the teaching– learning process or environment for purpose of gathering information about how their particular school operates, how they teach, and how their students learn (Mills, 2003) • Research done by teachers for themselves • Systematic inquiry into one’s own practices • Research then has increased utility, effectiveness November 19, 2015 19
  20. 20. • Reflection… – Act of critically examining one’s own practice (i.e., what you do, why you do it, what are its effects) – Integral part of action research process – Reflective teaching—process of developing lessons with thoughtful consideration of theory, existing research, and practical experience, along with examination of lesson’s effect on student learning – Process of systematic collection of information followed by active reflection, with the anticipation of improving the teaching–learning process is at the core of action research November 19, 2015 20
  21. 21. Types of Action Research Design • Practical Action Research- enhances the practice of education through the systematic study of a local problem. Examples of Practical Action Research An elementary teacher studies the disruptive behavior of a child in her classroom. A college instructor studies his professional development using technology in teaching. November 19, 2015 21
  22. 22. Contd… • Participatory Action Research- collaborative and community based research contributes to emancipation or change. addresses the social problems that constrain and repress the lives of students and educators. Examples: Curricula that deny students enrolment. Assessments that serve to confirm student failure rather than learning. K-12 classroom interactions that silence and quiet the voices of certain students. Discriminatory allocation of college faculty salaries that favour men over women. November 19, 2015 22
  23. 23. Uses • Bridge the gap between theory and practice • Improvement of Educational Practices • Teacher empowerment: Teacher as decision maker • Professional growth opportunities for teachers • Identify educational problems • To develop and test solutions • To expand the knowledge of teachers November 19, 2015 23
  24. 24. Four-stages procedure • The planning stage • The acting stage • The developing stage • The reflecting stage November 19, 2015 24
  25. 25. Eight Steps in action research 1. Identifying and Limiting the problem. 2. Analyzing the causes of relevant to the problem (Review of related Literature) 3. Developing a research Plan (Hypothesis/ Research questions) 4. Implementing the Plan and Collecting data 5. Analyzing the Data 6. Developing an Action Plan 7. Sharing and communicating of results; 8. Reflecting on the process November 19, 2015 25
  26. 26. Detail Steps In Action Research • Identifying and Limiting the problem problem to be studied is identified; What to study; Professional experiences • Review of related Literature: Locating Resources to determine what others have learned about solving a particular problem • Objectives of the research and Formulation of the hypotheses or Research Questions Fundamental question inherent in research problem; provides guiding structure to the study • Data Collection through experiencing, enquiring and examining. November 19, 2015 26
  27. 27. ACTION RESEARCH DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Experiencing  Participant observation  Privileged, active observer  Passive observer Enquiring Informal Interview Structured Formal Interview Questionnaires Attitude Tests Standardized Tests Examining  Archival Documents  Journals  Maps Audio and Video Tapes Artifacts November 19, 2015 27
  28. 28. Contd… • Data Analysis data can be analyzed by the researcher or the help of other educators or data analysis can be sought. • Developing a plan for Action- Presenting the data to important stakeholders. Establishing a pilot program Implementing an ongoing research agenda to explore new practices. November 19, 2015 28
  29. 29. Contd… • Implementation of Plan to monitor the impact of the proposed solution • Sharing and Communicating the Results report is shared with educators that can immediately use the results • Reflection to know what is learned or gained from implementation of plan November 19, 2015 29
  30. 30. Types of the problems that can be considered under Action Research • Teaching and Learning • Testing and Evaluation • Co-curricular Activities • School Management and Administration November 19, 2015 30
  31. 31. Related to Teaching and Learning  Conceptual clarity  Suitable teaching methodology  Teacher – taught relationship  Conducive environment for studies  Problems of communication among students  Home work  Speech problems  Spelling problems  Expression  Pronunciation  Indifference towards study  Late coming to class November 19, 2015 31
  32. 32. Testing and evaluation  Problems related to construction of test  Administration of test  Improving achievement of the students through testing  Providing more alternatives in the question paper.  Striking a balance between essay type and objective type questions.  Developing diagnostic tests, their use and related problems  Relating testing with teaching November 19, 2015 32
  33. 33. Co-curricular activities  Lack of interest in co-curricular activities  Problem in organizing co-curricular activities  Lack of enthusiasm and interest on the part of the teachers  Problem of systematic organization of co-curricular activities  Lack of requisite facilities for organizing co-curricular activities.  Problem of integrating curricular and co-curricular activities.  Cooperation  Leadership qualities  Socialization November 19, 2015 33
  34. 34. School management and Administration  Teaching, evaluation etc.  Teaching environment in the school  Student unions and teacher unions  School discipline  Library related problems  Cleanliness in the school  Teaching aids related problems  Teacher student relations  Raising the standard of school November 19, 2015 34
  35. 35. Testing questions for selecting problem 1. Is the selection of problem based on the specific facts? 2. Will it affect the working of the institution positively? 3. Is the problem being studied keeping in view the conditions of the institution? 4. Is the problem directly related to the researcher 5. Is the solution of the problem possible within the limits of the institution? 6. Has the major aspects of the problem thoroughly been analyzed? November 19, 2015 35
  36. 36. Testing questions (Contd.) 7. Has the problem been defined and delimited properly? 8. Is the problem important in the development of the institution? 9. Is it possible to create conducive environment for carrying out action research? 10. Is the researcher interested in the problem? 11. Can the researcher solve the problem successfully on the basis of his abilities? 12. Is the opinion of the experts available for research? November 19, 2015 36
  37. 37. THANK YOU November 19, 2015 37