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Action Research

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Presentation about the action research.

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  • 1. ActionResearch

2. What is Action Research?Action Research is a processin which participants examine theirown educational practicesystematically and carefully, usingthe techniques of research. (Watts, 1985, p.118) 3. Action Research is based on thefollowing assumptions: Teachers and principals work best onproblems they have identified forthemselves; Teachers and principals becomemore effective when encouraged toexamine and assess their own workand then consider ways of workingdifferently; 4. Teachers and principals help eachother by working collaboratively; and Workingwith colleagues helpsteachers and principals in theirprofessional development. (Watts, 1985, p.118) 5. Although there are many types ofresearch thatmaybeundertaken, action research specificallyrefers to a disciplined inquiry done by ateacher with the intent that theresearch will inform and change his orher practices in the future. Implicit to the term action research isthe idea that teachers will begin a cycleofposingquestions,gatheringdata, reflection and deciding a courseof action. 6. What is Not Action Research? Action research is not usually comesto mind when we hear the wordresearch. Action research is not a library projectwhere we learn more about a topicthat interests us. It is not problem-solving in the senseof trying to find out what is wrong, butrather a quest for knowledge abouthow to improve. 7. What is Not Action Research? Action research is not about doingresearch on or about people, orfinding all available information on atopic looking for the correct answers.It involves people working to improvetheir skills, techniques, and strategies. Action research is not about learningwhy we do certain things, but ratherhow we can do things better. It isabout how we can change ourinstruction to impact students. 8. Similarities and Differences betweenAction Research and Formal Quantitative and Qualitative Research 9. Action Research Formal ResearchSystematic inquiry.Systematic inquiry.Goal is to solve Goal is to developproblems of localand test theoriesconcern. and to produce knowledge generalizable to wide population.Little formalConsiderabletraining required to training required toconduct such conduct suchstudies. studies. 10. Action Research Formal ResearchIntent is to identify Intent is toand correct investigate largerproblems of local issues.concern.Carried out byCarried out byteacher or otherresearcher who islocal education not usuallyprofessional. involved in localsituation.Uses primarilyUses primarilyteacher-professionallydeveloped developedinstruments.instruments. 11. Action Research Formal ResearchLess rigorous.More rigorous.Usually value-Frequently value-based.neutral.Purposive samples Random samplesselected. (if possible)preferred.Selective opinions Selective opinionsof researcher often of researcherconsidered as never considereddata. as data.Generalizability is Generalizabilityvery limited. often appropriate. 12. Types of Action Research Individual Teacher Research usuallyfocuses on a single issue in theclassroom. Collaborative Action Research mayinclude as few as two teachers or agroup of several teachers and othersinterested in addressing in aclassroom or department issue. School-wide Research focuses onissue common to all. 13. Types of Action Research District-wide Research far morecomplex and utilizes more resources,but the rewards can be great. Issuescan be organizational, community-based,performance-based orprocesses for decision making. 14. History of Action Research 1940: The idea of using research in anatural setting to change the waythat the researcher interacts with thatsetting was traced back to KurtLewin. Kurt Lewin credited for coining theterm action research to describework that did not separate theinvestigation from the action neededto solve the problem. 15. History of Action Research Stephen Corey - the first to useaction research in the field ofeducation. 1950: Action research was attackedas unscientific, little more than acommon sense and the work ofamateurs (McFarland & Stansell, p.15). 1970: Saw again the emergence ofaction research. 16. Steps in Action Research Within all the definitions of actionresearch, there are four basic themes:empowerment ofparticipants,collaboration through participation,acquisition of knowledge, and socialchange.In conducting actionresearch, we structure routines forcontinuous confrontation with data onthe health of a school community. 17. Steps in Action Research These routines are loosely guided bymovement through five phases ofinquiry:1. Identification of problem area2. Collection and organization of data3. Interpretation of data4. Action based on data5. Reflection 18. Identify the Problem NextGather StepsDataEvaluateInterpret ResultsDataAct on Evidence 19. Identify a Problem AreaTeachersoften have severalquestionstheywishto investigate;however, it is important to limit thequestion to one that is meaningful anddoable in the confines of their dailywork. Careful planning at this first stagewill limit false starts and frustrations. 20. Identify a Problem Area There are several criteria to considerbefore investing the time and effort inresearching a problem. The questionshould: be a higher-order question- not ayes/no be stated in common language,avoiding jargon be concise be meaningful not already have an answer 21. Gather Data The collection of data is animportant step in deciding what actionneeds to be taken. Multiple sources ofdata are used to better understand thescope of happenings in the classroomor school. 22. Gather DataTherearemany vehiclesforcollection of data:Interviews PortfoliosJournalsDiariesVideotapesAudio TapesPhotos Memos Case StudiesSurveysField Notes ChecklistQuestionnairesLogs of MeetingsIndividual FilesSelf-assessmentRecords tests, report cards, attendance 23. Interpret Data Analyzeand identifymajorthemes. Depending upon the question,teachers may wish to use classroomdata, individual data or subgroup data.Some of the data are quantifiable andcan be analyzed without the use ofstatistics or technical assistance. 24. Act on Evidence Using the information from thedata collection and review of currentliterature, design a plan of action thatwill allow you to make a change and tostudy that change. It is important thatonly one variable be altered. 25. Evaluate Results Assess the effects oftheinterventiontodetermine ifimprovement has occurred. Is there isimprovement,do the dataclearlyprovide the supporting evidence? If no,what changes can be made to theactions to elicit better reults? 26. Next Steps As a result of the action researchproject, identify additional questionsraised by the data and plan foradditional improvements, revisions andnext steps. 27. Guide Questions1. What was my concern?2. Why was I concerned?3. What could I do?4. What could help me?5. What did I do?6. How can I evaluate my work? 28. Benefits of Action Research1. Focus on school issue, problem or area of collective interest.2. Form ofteacher professional development.3. Collegial interactions.4. Potential to impact school change.5. Reflect on own practice.6. Improved communications. 29. Sample #1Studying the Effects of Time-Out on aStudents Disruptive Behavior by Means of a Single-Subject ExperimentMs. Wong, a third-grade teacher, findsher class continually interrupted by a studentwho cant seem to keep quiet. Distressed, sheasks herself what she can do to control thisstudent and wonders if some kind of time outactivity might work. Accordingly, she asks: 30. Would brief periods of removal from theclass decrease the frequency of this studentsdisruptive behavior?What might Ms. Wong do to get ananswer to her question?This sort of question can best beanswered by means of a single-subject A-B-A-Bdesign. First, Ms. Wong needs to establish abaseline of the students disruptive behavior.Hence, she should observe the student carefullyover a period of several days, charting thefrequency of the disruptive behavior. 31. Once she has establishedastablepattern of the students behavior, she shouldintroduce the treatment in this instance, time-out, orplacingthestudent outsidetheclassroom for a brief period of time for severaldays andobservethe frequency of thestudents disruptivebehaviorafter thetreatment periods. She then should repeat thecycle. Ideally, the students disruptive behaviorwill decrease and Ms. Wong will no longerneed to use a time-out period with this student. 32. The main problem for Ms. Wong is beingable to observe and chart the studentsbehavior during the time-out period and yet stillteach the other students in her class. She mayalso have difficulty making sure the treatment(time-out) works as intended (e.g., that thestudent is not wandering the halls). Both ofthese problems would be greatly diminished ifshe had a teachers aide to assist with theseconcerns. 33. Sample #2 How Can I Improve My Students to Improve in English?By Ma HongI am a teacher of English in China, I havebeen teaching for two years. I undertook myprofessional learning within atraditionalcontext, which emphasizedthatteachersshould help their students learn correct answersand achieve a high standard of languageproficiency. 34. This involved using pedagogies that putthe responsibility for success on the teachersteaching, rather than on the students learning.Using this approach also meant that mystudents and I were exhausted at the end ofeach day. I wondered what I could do aboutthe situation.In 2003, I heard from my colleague, TaoRui about the action research approaches shewas developing under the guidance of MoiraLaidlaw at the Guyuan Teachers College, 35. so I asked Moira to help me develop newpedagogies. Under Moiras guidance I beganmy formal action inquiry within the context ofmy class 40 English major students aged 15-18,of which 98% had failed the entranceexamination for senior middle school. I metthem for a two-hour class three times a week.This report sets out the action-reflectionsteps I took to develop my inquiry. 36. What was my concern? The level of proficiency of 80% of thestudents in spoken and written English wasunsatisfactory. They had limited vocabulary,could not pronounce even simple words,understood little when I used English as myteaching medium, and could not use the basicgrammar they had learned in junior middleschool. I wanted to help them developconfidence, show more initiative and becomemore motivated to learn English. 37. What was my concern? I decided to monitor the progress of thewhole class, focusing especially on threestudents. Ma Jie, Ma Fei, and Yu Jinghu, whoselevel of proficiency was representative of thelow achievers. I felt that if I could help them, Icould help others also. 38. Why was I concerned?Three reasons drove my inquiry. The firstwas my desire to help the whole class toconcentrate more on their learning, rather thanspend time chatting and wasting time. Thesecond reasonwasto improvemy ownteaching methods. The students were still in atraditional mode of learning passively, waitingto be told what to do, and were unwilling toanswer questions in public for fear of losing faceif they made a mistake. 39. Why was I concerned?I seemed to be doing the work for them,rather than enabling them to practice andthink themselves. Third, I could empathize withthe experience of being a less able studentbecause I had also had that experience atschool and had achieved my current positionthrough sheer hard work and determination. Iknew how important it was for all students tofeel cared for by their teacher. 40. What could I do?I wanted to: Create a friendly, well-disciplined, united class spirit; Help students develop confidence in themselves; and Encourage them to take more responsibility for their learning. 41. What could help me?I could observe lessons given by Moira,and colleagues Li Peidiong, Tao Rui, andothers. I could ask them to observe my lessonsand offer critical feedback. 42. What did I do?1. To overcome students anxieties aboutspeaking in front of the class, I divided thewhole class into eight groups. Each groupnominated a leader who was proficientand confident and proactive. One foundthat many studentsbecamemoreconfident and proactive. One of my specialparticipants, Ma Jie, one day volunteeredto answer a question for the fist time. 43. What did I do?2. I developedstrategies to encourage students to take the initiative about their learning, and to ask questions as well as offer answers.3. I paid particular attention encouraging effort. I praised them publicly and wrote encouraging comments in their books. When less able students answered correctly I got the whole class applaud them. 44. What did I do?3. I also encouraged them to regard mistakes as opportunities for learning. It took a long time to persuade them that I was genuine about this, because our culture regards making mistakes as loss of face. This one of the most difficult aspects of my new pedagogies, but students responded well. 45. What did I do?4. I also encouraged my students by takinginterest in their family stories. Many less ablestudents come from rural environments,where opportunities for schooling are rare.We talked about how hard their parents andfamilies worked to make them come tocollege, and how important it was for themto succeed. I showed that I was prepared towork as they were. 46. What did I do?4. We developed good relationships, and soon the spirit of the class became one of collaborative working through a respectful atmosphere.5. I aimed to make my teachingmore interesting. Rather than teaching the rules in action. Students were asked to listen to the stories, and work out the rule for themselves. 47. What did I do?5. I set them short exercises, and organizedthem into groups to share their learning.Because of these were new methodologiesfor me, I asked them for feedback, and theysaid that they found this way of learninginteresting and enjoyable. I shifted theemphasis from learning rules to practicinglanguage. I varied the exercises accordingto students ability. 48. What did I do?6. I expressed my pleasure and gratitude to my students. I thanked the group leaders for helping others. They in turn took their duties seriously, and checked with their peers whether they had understood that the task andvolunteeredextra help when appropriate. I valued this aspect particularly, because it met my own values of the need for moral teaching and the value of hard work and care for others. 49. How can I evaluate my work?I used the following strategies to getfeedback on the effectiveness of my work. I kept field notes about whenstudents volunteered to speak. I noted much increased activity and confidence among all the students. I invited group leaders to keep journals, and asked their permission to access their journals for evidence about my influence. The journals contain comments such as: I made progress in dictation this time. 50. How can I evaluate my work?I have more time to reflect on the recordwhat happens inclass and make an instantevaluation of my teaching. Though I now doless speaking in class. I spend more timepreparing, and I ask myself questions such as,What do I want my students to learn? Whichway would be better for them to learn? Howcan I help them learn?. 51. How can I evaluate my work?Interestingly, out of this research a newproblem has arisen. Students who were moreproficient in English seem less motivated thanbefore. I am wondering whether it is because ofthe attention I have paid to the lower-achievingstudents. So my next research question will beabout developingdifferentiated teachingmethodologiesthatenableall to learnaccording to their individual learning strengths. 52. ThankYou ^.^ 53. WorkshopMakeanaction researchindividually. Use the following guidequestions.1. What was my concern?2. Why was I concerned?3. What could I do?4. What could help me?5. What did I do?6. How can I evaluate my work? 54. happyworking^.^