Saturday, January 19, 2013

Action Research - What I've Learned & How I'll Use It


I have learned that action research is an effective tool for improving teaching and learning.  School leaders can use action research to address learning issues while simultaneously motivating teachers to improve their teaching practice.  For educational leaders, the steps in action research are to identify a problem or “wondering” within the school, develop and implement an action research plan, collect and analyze data along with reading relevant literature, and then evaluate and share the results.  It’s a process that takes time to develop, implement, and complete, but it becomes a powerful vehicle for learning and school improvement.
I also learned that action research is different from the traditional educational research approach in that it is focused on the concerns of the practitioner and allows them to play an active role in the research by investigating their own problems.
Action research has numerous benefits for school leaders.  It can serve as a powerful tool for professional development; it forces principals out of isolation by allowing the opportunity to collaborate with others; it allows principals to become role models for teachers and students; and it helps best practices to flourish within a school. 
I plan to use action research now and in the future as an administrator to continuously improve my school, especially where student performance is concerned.  Currently there are two areas that I seek to improve at my school.  The first involves a schedule change to address the need of a new long term unit of students.  Last semester students were complaining that they did not feel they were getting an adequate education due to being in mixed grade level classes.  A new schedule was created this semester to address the concern and I would like to use action research to measure its effectiveness.  I also want to research the effectiveness of a newly implemented tutoring intervention program for reading improvement.  I wonder if the new in school tutoring intervention is effective at increasing student reading levels. 
Action research is an effective and powerful tool that I look forward to using now and in the future as an administrator. 

7 comments:

  1. I can't decide which of the two research topics above to choose for my research project. Any suggestions or feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. On your topics, either is a great opportunity to learn what's working and what's not. Key thing is to choose a small group to evaluate and research on not the whole school or the whole program. After listening to the webinar, I realize that we have to research a smaller scale in depth as a broad spectrum would be greater than what we can do in our short amount of time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoy both topics! The fact that you want to continue the research and see the effectiveness the current schedule changes has improved your district is what a true researcher is. However, I also love you placing an emphasis on reading improvement during your tutoring intervention program. This new STAAR test is heavy on reading, analyzing in every subject!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the statement you made when you said action research forces principals out of isolation. There are times it seems that they never come out of their office. The door is always open and we are allowed to go in her office if the door is open.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I tend to lean towards the tutoring / reading improvement idea. I think there is already so much data compiled on reading. You'll be able to incorporate that, along with your new data, to make great recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for all of the advice! I'm leaning towards the tutoring project as well. The only problem that I'm having is that it is an outside tutoring company, and I'm not sure which reading program they are going to use. I'm hoping to find out more next week. It's a brand new program & so far they have only completed the assessing piece.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think that the tutoring idea is a good research action plan. Many campuses have the similar question in regards to the effectiveness of the tutoring program they may have. It's going to be interesting what you find and cant wait to hear.

    ReplyDelete