8 steps of action research
1. Setting the Foundation
When collaborating with the leadership campus team, two problems were identified:
1. High school students reading significantly below grade.
2. A lack of a campus reading intervention program.
To address the problem, it was decided that a portion of the title 1 funds would be allocated to contract tutors to provide in school reading intervention. The reading intervention will be provided to high school students that are reading significantly below grade level. The program will take place during the students’ Delta/Study Lab class. The students will receive tutoring for one hour a day, twice a week, for at least 15 weeks. The goal is to increase student reading levels. The purpose of this research study will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the title 1 funded in school tutoring program for reading intervention.
2. Analyzing Data
The initial data collected will be to determine which students will be participating in the intervention. This will be decided through teacher input and the results of a reading assessment. The STAR Reading Assessment will be given at the start and end of the tutoring program. The effectiveness of the tutoring program will be evaluated based on a comparison of the pre and post assessment scores. Other data collected will be student and teacher interviews. I will interview teachers to see if the effects of the tutoring are noticeable in class.
3. Developing a Deeper Understanding
To better understand the factors that can play a part in this research, I will learn more about the techniques and strategies that the tutors will use for the reading intervention. I will gather additional data on the effectiveness of various techniques for reading intervention by reading relevant literature and applying it to what we are doing. This will allow me to get a better understanding of how other tutoring programs have been successful at reading intervention so that I can do the same.
4. Engaging in Self-Reflection
I will meet with the tutors for weekly updates on student progress. This will allow me to reflect on what is working with students and what might not be working. With this knowledge, I can continually question what is needed and how we might address problems that may arise. Some questions that I may use for self-reflection: How do the students feel about the reading intervention? What can be done to make the tutoring more effective? Are the effects of the intervention noticeable to teachers? Is the proposed weekly tutoring schedule efficient for student progress? How might the tutoring schedule be tweaked for optimal results? In what ways can we tutor students to increase reading levels?
5. Exploring Programmatic Patterns
Staying in close contact with the tutors, my administrator, students, and teachers will assist me in keeping the research on track. If the students are not making progress, we may need to tweak the program.
6. Determining Direction
The purpose of this study is to determine if a new in school tutoring program for reading intervention is effective at increasing student reading levels. The main goal of this study is to improve the reading levels of students reading significantly below grade level. When students are reading significantly below grade level, it hinders their ability to learn in all other subjects putting them at risk for failure. The research project will be conducted by collaborating with the tutors. The tutoring timeline is 15 weeks which is close to the average stay of the students in the facility. This will determine if implementing a relatively short term tutoring program is effective at increasing student reading levels. The plan will be evaluated for effectiveness by comparing pre and post reading assessments, and analyzing teacher reports of student achievement in the classroom. Individual student progress will be closely monitored and any part of the tutoring plan can be revised and improved based on the observations.
7. Taking Action for School Improvement
A committee consisting of the site mentor, counselor, director of the Austin Learning Center, tutors and myself will be established to complete this action research study. The Harris et al. text, Tool 7.1 Action Planning Template will be used to guide the implementation of the research project. A summative evaluation will be used to organize data that is collected during the research to reach conclusions and to share information.
8. Sustain Improvement
A summary report of the action research project results will be shared with the members of the Leadership committee and school staff. If the tutoring program is effective at increasing student reading levels, it will serve as justification for allocation of title 1 funds for the program in the future.