What is Action Research? Unit 1 Action research is: A. Practitioner driven B. Done to improve one’s own practices C. Personal D. Part of your daily work E. Professional growth F. Dynamic BRIEF History of AR: 1950 by Steven Corey 1970s and 1980s English and Australians educators 1990s Educators in this country Presently flourishing with many variations Why do Action Research? Explore and improve ones own educational practices NOT to contribute to the general knowledge base in education. . Not done for judgment of others. Passion See how students are different because of what you do. Accountability Be a better counselor Six basic steps in the action research process. 1. Action Research Step - The Question 2. Action Research Step - The Plan 3. Action Research Step - Collecting Data 4. Action Research Step – Findings 5. Action Research Step - Analyzing the Data 6. Action Research Step - Taking Action I. The Question The driving force of the action research process. Determines the design of the project. The following are characteristics of the question: The question identifies the area of inquiry or study. The question focuses on the action strategy or counseling practice that the action researcher is studying. The question describes who is being studied. The question also describes the anticipated changes or outcomes that implementing the action strategy may have on the people/person being studied by the educator. The inquiry question is not formed so that you receive a positive or negative answer. For example, does .....? Will X ..........? The question is designed to provide you with rich and meaningful "descriptions". For example, what is the influence of X on .......? Question Examples: Example A--The Question How will using daily journal writing effect my third grade self- esteem group’s attitudes about themselves? Example B---The Question What is the influence of peer mediators on office referrals during third grade recess? Example C Your turn………………….. II. The Plan Characteristics The plan is a direct result of and follows the direction of the question. The action research plan focuses on the gathering of information or data needed to answer the question. The following items characterize the action research plan: The plan, “data source” Triangulation Timeline Ethical precautions The Plan –Example A Example A--The Action Research Plan Question: How will using daily journal writing affect the students’ attitudes about themselves in my third grade self- esteem group? Data sources: students, counselor, and the teacher. Methods: 1) A student survey- used before and after the implementation of the intervention. Used to explore the student’s attitudes about journaling. 2) Teacher interview –investigate the change in perceived student attitudes and behavior regarding themselves 3) Personal reflection from counselor- any apparent self-esteem change seen in the students’ 4) Student journals – any apparent self-esteem change seen in the students’ journal entries Timeline: 8 week group starting 10/10/06; Journaling everyday for two months Interviews pre and post group Personal reflection taken post group Precaution: As district policy requires, permission from parents and student will be required for students to start the group. Permission from students will be gained proior to reading the journals. Teacher will be notified of action research project and their requested participation. -The Plan Example B Question: What is the influence of peer mediators on office referrals during third grade recess? Data sources: Office referral tally sheet; mediator reports; Vice Principal’s report on dealing with referrals. Methods: 1) Office referral tally sheet--use this as a before and after the intervention to see a numerical change in number of referrals sent to the office during this recess period. 2) Mediator Reports—read the reports to see how many interventions are had daily and the content of the related interventions. 3) Interview the VP every 3 months to attain a qualitative report on any change in referrals. Timeline: Assess each month for the remainder (10/2006-6/2006) of the school year to see longitudinal effect. Precautions: Alert VP of my desire to interview him and gain his permission prior to the interview. III. Collecting Data Characteristics Gather information Monitor your data. Revise as needed. Collecting Data- Example A Example A Question: How will using daily journal writing affect the students’ attitudes about themselves in my third grade self- esteem group? Collecting and monitoring data: Review journals mid way through the group to see if the students’ entries contain any selfreflection. Look for themes and patterns in the writing Collecting Data- Example B Example B Question: What is the degree of implementation of our new school wide discipline policy for each teacher and how effective does each teacher feel the policy is? Collecting and monitoring data: Survey teachers on their implementation and beliefs of effectiveness. Look for themes and patterns in the answers. If implementation rates are very low, the researcher may want to change the research question to find-out why the implementation is low. IV. Findings Characteristics Organizing the data or information is very important. There are several ways to organize the data into findings: Counts instances, events and artifacts Descriptive statistics. Inferential statistics (not often in AR) In the case of numbers, the findings can be presented in tables or charts. Themes or common ideas. Report the findings. Findings -Organizing Data Example A Example A---Theme 1: Essence of student journaling was more positive. Theme 2: Students journal entries included description of positive social interaction for the student. Student’s average score on the list of “Things I’m Good At” raised from 1.5 to 4 on a scale of 1-6. Findings -Organizing Data Example B Beliefs about Effectiveness Very effective for my 5 needs Somewhat effective for my needs Not effective for my needs 3 25 V. The Analysis Data that provides contrary information to your question - VERY acceptable. Hiding such data- VERY unethical. Not be limited to "yes" or "no" answers “Question" the findings and Question your data sources Focus on the relationship of the results to the review of the literature. Implications for changes in practice or further action as a result of the findings. Analysis –Example A & B Example A--The Analysis The findings indicated that initial student resistance to journaling was nonexistent. Their initial writings were focused on negative aspects of their day or life, however with time the entries included more neutral or positive writing. The student questionnaires indicated that each student left the group feeling that she was good at more things. Example B--The Analysis The data we collected from the office referral tally sheet showed a decrease in referrals since the implementation of peer mediators. The mediator’s reports indicated they were meeting with numerous students and most of the interventions ended with a “solution”. Finally, the report from the VP indicated there were less referrals to address. VI. Taking Action Once an educator's understanding is deepened through the action research process, the individual then can make informed decisions about further "action strategies" to implement. The action research steps are repeated with a new "action strategy", question, and inquiry plan. Taking Action- Ex. A & B Example A The activities in this group did increase the self esteem of these girls. With a higher level of general self- concept these students are ready to be challenged with the requirements of the social and academic life of their classroom. Journaling was an effective tool to measure this change and could be used to monitor these students through the year in order to be proactive in guiding them. Example B Will students continue to need these mediators or will the number of mediator interaction reports decrease with time? Furthermore, are the students learning new skills or is it an issue of attention? Are these skills transferable?
© Copyright 2020