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ACTION RESEARCH Trudy Thorson & Kendra Beliveau ED 800 November 19 th , 2012

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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 own classrooms,instructional strategies, assessment procedures,and interactions with student learners in order toimprove 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. VIDEO: WHAT NAGS YOU ABOUTYOUR TEACHING PRACTICE? Video: 16. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCH 17. STEPS IN ACTION RESEARCH(FERRANCE, 2000) 18. 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, field notes,videos, journals, case studies, 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, qualitative or mixed methods 19. 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? 20. EXAMINATION OFAN ACTION RESEARCH STUDY Action Research: Using Wordles for TeachingForeign Language Writing by Baralt, Pennestri, andSelvandin (2011) 21. CONTEXT 18 students in an intermediate-level Spanish FLclass at a private research university Attended class three times per week for fiftyminutes each Studied Spanish writing and grammar Students wrote 4 major compositions per semester 22. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM Identify the Problem Two main issues in students writing:1. Continuous repetition of errors2. Reliance on high frequency words withoutattempting to use new vocabulary in writing 23. GATHER DATA Gather Data Reviewed literature on the use of datavisualization. Acknowledged there is little or no research andideas for teachers are mostly found online. Forexample, The Clever Sheep Website (Lucier, 2008),provides 20 ideas for using Wordle. Analyzed students writing compositions for wordvariety and grammatical accuracy Consulted with instructional technology consultantand decided to use wordles as a teaching tool 24. INTERPRET DATAInterpret Data Noted word frequency counts from studentscompositions and a whole-class-based word cloud Teaching reflection about the class discussion Students were excited to see the whole classWordle each week and interpreted their own data The procedure was used for all four compositions 25. ACT ON EVIDENCE Instructor collected compositions and created awhole class Wordle Shared the image with the class and had a groupdiscussion Set goals for the next writing assignment;attempted to use a wider range of vocabulary andhigher level words Teacher asked for students overall perceptions atthe end of the semester 26. EVALUATE RESULTS Evaluate Results Wordles helped to show students progress Students used more vocabulary in their compositions Facilitated class discussions about the writing process 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 27. NEXT STEPS Share results with other educators Encourage others to use Wordles in differentteaching contexts and across different languages The instructor and students both found the use ofwordles to be beneficial so one would presume acontinuation of its use although the study report didnot clarify this. 28. 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 29. WRITING THE ACTION RESEARCHREPORT 30. WRITING ACTION RESEARCH REPORTS Reports vary depending on the variables, context,and action involved but most include: 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 31. DISADVANTAGES OF ACTION RESEARCH 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 32. ACTIVITY: WHAT NAGS YOU? 33. 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. 34. PASSION IS INTEGRAL TO ACTION RESEARCH Potential passions for coming up with a researchquestion (Yendol-Hoppey & Dana 2008): Helping an individual student Improving the curriculum Developing more knowledge of the content Experimenting with teaching strategies Exploring the relationship between your personal beliefsand classroom practice Exploring the connection between your personal andprofessional identities Advocating for social justice Understanding the teaching and learning environment 35. EXAMPLES OF ACTION RESEARCH QUESTIONS What happens to the quality of student writing whenwe implement a coding system for grammar errors? What happens to my students ability to do basicmultiplication facts when we do a two minute reviewdrill at the start of each class? 36. ACTIVITY AND CLASS DISCUSSION: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 _______________________? 37. CONCLUDING POINTS Professional development is an important part ofbeing a teacher. Action research is a slightly moreformalized version of the professional developmentprocess used with pre-service. Action research is a way in which teachers canwork collaboratively in a teacher-directed learningcommunity. For more resources, check out our blog! 38. REFERENCESBaralt, M., Pennestri, S., & Selvandin, M. (2011). Using Wordles to Teach ForeignLanguage Writing. Language Learning & Technology, 15(2), 12-22.Ferrance, E. (2000). Action Research. Providence, RI, USA. Retrieved November14, 2012 from, R. (2008). Top 20 uses for Wordle. Retrieved from, C. (2009). Action Research. Thousand Oaks, California, USA: SagePublications, Inc.Pine, G. (2009). Teacher Action Research. Thousand Oaks, California: SagePublications, Inc. Sowa, P. A. (2009). Understanding our learners and developing reflectivepractice: Conducting action research with English Language Learners. Teaching andTeacher Education, 25(8), 1026-1032.Stringer, E. T. (2007). Action Research (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications, Inc. Yendol-Hoppey, D. & Dana, N. (2008). The Reflective Educators Guide toClassroom Research. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.Waters-Adams, S. (2006). Action Research in EducationRetrieved from