Action Research in Classroom
Action research is a research that is carried out by the practitioners to improve their own practices or to solve the problems of workplace. Learn about action research and be a RESEARCHER TEACHER!
Read and learn how to do action research in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom!
What is Action Research?
Taking action to improve teaching and learning plus systematic study of the action and its consequences.
It is typically designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze data from their workplace to improve their own practice.
ACTION RESEARCH is a rather simple set of ideas and techniques that can introduce you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to the power of systematic reflection on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr practice. Our basic assumption is that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have within you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp the power to meet all the challenges of the teaching profession. Furthermore, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can meet these challenges without wearing you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself down to a nub.
The secret of success in the profession of teaching is to continually grow and learn. Action research is a way for you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to continue to grow and learn by making use of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr own experiences. The only theories involved are the ideas that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp already use to make sense of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr experience. Action research literally starts where you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are and will take you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp as far as you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want to go.
Five Steps to Action Research
1. Making the commitment (The call to enquiry)
i. A professional stance
ii. A way of learning about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom:
a. What is working
b. Who is learning
iii. A way of learning about you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself as a teacher
The first step in the process of doing action research is to make a commitment. Getting off to a good start is important in anything new that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp try. This is true of new skills, new friendships, a new class at school, a new job. Getting started in action research requires beginning well by taking time to think about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr life in classrooms. It is an inquiry—asking questions about things that others might take for granted. What is working in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom, in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr teaching? Who is learning? Who is being left out? How does you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr curriculum provide opportunity to learn? When do you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp feel like you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are “losing it”? Questions such as these can be uncomfortable to ask. They may produce even more discomforting answers. But, unless and until teachers grapple with the hard questions, we will remain powerless to do very much to improve life in classrooms. Therefore, in short, action research is a way of learning about you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself as a teacher, as a person, and as a guide to learning and development for you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr students.
2. Designing a study (Questions and answers)
The hardest part of designing an action research study is framing a good question. Avoid questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.” Avoid questions to which you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp already know the answer (action research is not very good at proving that “method A is superior to method B”). Action research helps you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp understand the consequences of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr action.
So what makes for a good question?
Good questions are free of educational jargon. They use simple everyday words that make the point clear to all. They do not prejudge the result. One of the first activities you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can do is make a list of questions and topics that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom or you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr teaching or both. Try starting with, “I wonder what would happen if . . .” (This could be part of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr 10 minutes a day.) You can always reframe a statement as a question. Choose one question or topic on which you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can spend some time. Ask you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself why this question is interesting to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp, how you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp might go about answering it, and what might be the benefit of answering it. If, after this conversation with you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are still interested in the question, do a reality check by trying it out on a colleague.
Developing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question
· Write a first draft
· Share it with a colleague
· Grow it a little—make it researchable
Questions emerge in different forms. Most often, the first draft of the question is steeped in the reality of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom. We call these first draft questions. As an example, take the following question: “Why are some kids in my class so mean and nasty to each other?” Following the advice we have just given you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp, if this were you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp would go off to a colleague or friend and try it out. In the process, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp would begin to think about how on earth you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are going to answer that question in a way that would help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to improve the situation. In other words, we don’t want you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to say to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself, “Oh. It’s their parents!” The answer for you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp has to include something that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can do, some action that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can take in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom. So, the question is likely to change to become more researchable. “How can I help the kids in my class develop a respectful classroom community?” would lead you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp toward action.
What is a typical timeline?
SEPTEMBER Write about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr wonderings, talk about them with colleagues, decide on a question to follow, an action to take.
OCTOBER Write about the context of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question (why is it important to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp?), start to collect data using one familiar and one new research tool.
NOVEMBER Write about the data you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have collected so far. Reshape you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question if you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to. Start to read (and take notes) about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr issue. Think about what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have learned so far and what further action(s) you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to take.
DECEMBER Write a series of short profiles of what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have been reading about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr topic. (These will be useful to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp later on when you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are analyzing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data.) Try another tool. Keep on collecting data.
JANUARY Keep collecting data. Write about what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have learned so far. Ask you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself whether it resonates with what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have been reading about the topic.
FEBRUARY Begin you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr analysis. Try different ways of representing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data succinctly. Think about how you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data relates to you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr reading. You may want to try a new action or set of actions at this point. Monitor the impact!
MARCH Keep analyzing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data. Begin writing about what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have learned. Be sure that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have data to support you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr claims.
APRIL Develop a draft of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr study.
MAY Finish you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr work. Be sure to include what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have learned and how you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr practice has changed.
JUNE Find a way to share you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr study with others and plan to do another study!
The typical timeline described here includes all of the steps of the action research process. They are distributed evenly across the school year. Your task is to fit these steps into the reality and constraints of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr school year.
3. Making sense of experience (Data analysis)
Data and Analysis
Data Collection tools-
Everyday tools of inquiry
· CLASSROOM MAPS
· ANECDOTAL RECORDS
· TIME-SAMPLED OBSERVATIONS
· SAMPLES OF STUDENT WORK
· DRAWINGS & PHOTOGRAPHS
· INTERVIEWS & CONVERSATIONS
· TEACHER RESEARCH JOURNALS
· Look critically at the setup and decoration of the classroom.
Whose work is up on the walls? How is the seating arranged?
· Track movement flow—you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr own, a child’s, a group.
· Track verbal flow—conversation between teachers and students and conversation among students.
Do not forget to draw a map! Once you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have done that, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can make multiple copies and use them to help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp gather data to answer a variety of questions like those that we have listed above.
ANECDOTAL RECORDS ANDTIME-SAMPLED OBSERVATIONS
· Always Date
· Regularly Jot Down Time
· Focus on Particulars
· Write Fast
· Write Down Actual Quotes
· Don’t Censor
SAMPLES OF STUDENT WORK AND DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
Sometimes we will make a quick sketch of something—an activity, the way two kids were relating to one another. A sketch is like visual notes. It helps us to remember something and can be more descriptive than the words we could get down in the time it takes to make the sketch. The same is true of photographs. We love to take pictures of students at work, of activities in progress, even of stages of an activity.
Teachers can make sketches and photographs in the same notebook that they use to record anecdotal records and time samples. Reasoning is that like anecdotal records and time samples, these will later need a descriptive piece beside them, and they will invite reflection and theory building. Student work is just that—an artifact, a sample of an individual’s, small group’s, or entire class’ work collected over time. Depending on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question, both types of classroom artifacts can be very helpful data. Samples of student work can demonstrate individual or whole group progress. They can show you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp how students are making sense of concepts and how they are using them.
INTERVIEWS AND CONVERSATIONS
· Always note date, time, place, and name of the person(s) being interviewed.
· Think ahead about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr goal for this conversation or interview.
What do you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want to learn?
· Decide ahead about audio taping and check you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr equipment.
· Do not ask questions that give you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp “yes”/ “no” answers.
· Be a good listener.
Interviews and conversations are great research tools. Formal interviews are those that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp script for you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself prior to the interview—you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask the same questions of everyone to whom you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp talk and you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask these questions in the same order. Informal interviews are those that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp quite literally enter into on the spur of the moment. Whichever you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp use (and you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp might use both), you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will need to plan ahead. To prepare, especially for an informal interview or conversation, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to really think about what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp would want to learn about.
· Good for large groups or a whole class when you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want comparative data
· Types of questions you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask are important
· Time it takes to complete is important
Surveys are great for getting information from a whole class or a large group. However, be careful about the types of questions you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask and how many questions you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp do not want to have to develop ways of coding you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data, do not ask open-ended questions that invite thoughtful, often unanticipated answers.
A sociogram is an analytical tool used to help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp portray the social networks in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom. They are particularly useful if you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are trying to figure out how to change the interactive dynamic of the class. But they are also useful if you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’re just trying to figure out how to group kids for instruction. To develop the data for a sociogram, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask every child in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr class the same three questions, for example,
(1) If I were to form reading groups of four kids, who would you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp like to have in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr group?
(2) If I were to have four kids stay for lunch with me, who would you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp like to have in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr group?
(3) If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp were a new student in the class, which three kids would you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp suggest I ask to help you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp learn the ropes?
Questions can be asked orally but you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to record students’ answers so you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have data to draw on as you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp begin to map their responses.
TEACHER RESEARCH JOURNAL
· The critical tool in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr inquiry
We feel that every teacher researcher should keep a research journal. Your research journal is like the best diary that ever was! It could have everything—the 10 minutes a day of writing that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are doing about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr notes from you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr anecdotal records, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr reflections on those notes, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr notes from background reading that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have done on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr topic. It could, on the other hand, just be the place you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp record you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr thoughts about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr research. Whatever, try to set it up so it really is a friendly place for you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to write and so that it becomes precious to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp. Do not leave it lying around in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom. This is where you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp think on paper. You want to keep it as a special place that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp come to for special work on something that is of great importance to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp.
Organizing Your Data
You should plan to use at least three different tools (do not, for example, use only questionnaires and surveys—they are the same thing). This is done for the purpose of triangulation. It helps you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to be sure that the results you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp think you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are getting are real and will stand up to scrutiny.
The data collection tools that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp use will determine how you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp organize you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data. We love charts and graphs and tables. These graphic forms of data organization can quickly show patterns, time sequences, relationships, and missing pieces. The process of creating a chart, table, or graph forces you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to move from tiny details to a bigger picture; from hunch to substantiated claim.
Here are some suggestions about how to get started. Try spreading out you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data on the living room floor. Look at all that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have collected. Begin simply by sorting according to the tools that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp used. Ask you中国福利彩票下载安装αpprself what each tool is telling you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr question. Begin with the earliest samples. Describe them. (How would you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp sum up what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are seeing to someone on the other end of the phone?) Move on to later samples. What has changed? This essentially describes the universe of evidence that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have gathered using that particular tool. Now do the same with the other tools you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have used.
Analyzing Your Data
Analysis is the heart of making sense of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr experience with action research. Analysis is fun and messy. It always begins with you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data. Data never speak for themselves. Please remember this. Data never speak for themselves. Your mind is the most important analytical tool that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have. Analysis is a process of telling a convincing story about the sense that you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr data led you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to make. As well, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp must persuade a sceptical audience that the story that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp tell and the sense that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp make are supported by evidence.
There are two major sources of support for you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr evidence:
1. The first is the data you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have collected and the patterns that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp see.
2. The second is equally important. It is what others have learned about this topic. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have not already read other research and theory on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr topic, now is the time to do it. This is critical to situating you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr work. If, for example, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp find that the action you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp took has results that are very similar to those of other researchers, then you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp know you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr analysis is in the ballpark. Essentially, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can borrow from the authority of others that have come before you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp to strengthen the claims that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will make for the action that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp took. If, however, you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr results contradict prior research, then you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are well on the way to forming a provocative new question about why you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr study yielded such different results. You have something interesting to talk about with colleagues and with other researchers. Either way, what you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp learn locally can become part of a larger conversation among educators and researchers.
As you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp develop you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr analysis of data, here are the steps that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp should follow:
REPORTING ON THE RESULTS OF YOUR ACTION
• Describe the action(s) that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp took.
• Reflect on the evidence you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have collected.
• Count. Look for patterns.
• Share the evidence with colleagues.
• Examine what different explanations could explain the data (draw on prior research)
• Revisit assumptions about the children and the learning situation.
• Formulate a trial explanation.
• Develop an argument with evidence and claims.
4. Improve you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr Practice
You are about to DO something different in you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr classroom! So, one last check:
RETHINK THE NEED, THE CHANGE, AND THE RESULTS
• Does the evidence support you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr claims?
• Do you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr colleagues find you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr argument credible?
• How does the argument fit into ongoing debates and conversations?
• What is unique about you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr setting or context?
• Will others find you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr argument useful?
5. Beginning Again (New and better question)
Once you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have completed you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr first study, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp should start another—just to see how good you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr decisive action is! Be a researcher teacher…!
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