Educational action research

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Action Research Insights

  1. How have you seen or experienced traditional educational research conducted in the past?

Traditional research is conducted by outside professional who have limited stakes in achievement and meeting academic standards. Over the years, many different methods of instruction have been introduced and these methods have been the product of outsider research. Dana & Yendol-Hoppey (2009) state that teachers voices have typically been absent from discussions about education change and reform (p.1).

  1. Who leads educational research? Where, when, and why is it conducted?

Those who lead education research consist of business leaders, governmental groups, college groups, and others that are outsiders to education and have limited ideas of what a classroom teachers needs on a daily basis (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2009). These researcher use data review, surveys, and process oriented methods to conduct research. Based on Dana & Yendol-Hoppey(2009). There are two paradigms that are mostly responsible for educational research. The first in process-product oriented method with the teacher as technician in the classroom (p.2-3). The research is linear in scope and the researcher is an outsider to the classroom. The second paradigm is qualitative or interpretive (p.3). This requires the teacher as active participant, discussion on the focus, and interpretation (p.3). Outsider researcher will conduct the research. Both Paradigms have as a reason why to do the research the concept of identifying problems to improve performance within the classroom and education.

  1. What is the difference between teacher inquiry/action research and educational research?
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Essentially, there is no difference between educational research and teacher inquiry/action research. Educational research is the big umbrella that encompasses all research in the education area. Dana &Yendol-Hoppey (2009) states that “Teacher inquiry highlights the roll of teachers as knowledge generator, researcher, and participant. It focuses on the concerns of teachers and engages teachers in the design, data collection, and interpretation of data around a question”( p. 4).

  1. After studying your completed comparison chart, in what ways are these action research studies the same as traditional educational research studies? In what ways are they different? What are the strengths and weaknesses of them both?

Action research studies are similar to other traditional educational research studies. Both types of research pose questions about education that will solve a problem, create a vehicle for change and educational reform, and generate valuable insights into the teaching and learning process. The differences in the action research model is that Action Research includes the teacher as a participant, leader, and implementer of change. The weaknesses of the process-product model and the interpretive is its single focused question.

  1. Describe which action research study promoted teaching practices that resulted in more culturally responsive teaching. How was it different from the others?

“Mother Tongue: The role of parent teacher communication in helping students reach new standards” by Lara Goldstein (2003) promotes teaching practices that resulted in more culturally responsive teaching. The purpose of this study was to help students achieve standards at high levels focusing on language standards. Assessments of student achievement, communication with parents, and reflections from students and parents were collected. Three problems were obvious from the study:

  1. Lack of confidence
  2. Cultural values
  3. Shy and introverted.

Identified need for more translators, translated materials, and overcoming cultural barriers(Goldstein, 2003). Primarily, English as Second Language students were impacted or affected. Asian-American cultural barriers were pointed out as a factor contributing to these student not participating in classroom discussions. Identified need for more translators, translated materials, and overcoming cultural barriers(Goldstein, 2003). Primarily, English as Second Language students were impacted or affected.

  1. Describe the teacher action research study that most influenced the teaching and students' learning. How was it influential?

Drexler, Dawson, and Ferdig (2007) wrote “Collaborative Blogging as a Means to Develop Elementary Expository Writing Skills.” In this article, the purpose of the study was to show that collaborative blogging would improve student’s motivation to write. Students attitude via surveys were used to assess before and after attitudes toward writing(Drexler, Dawson and Ferdig, 2007). A four-step systematic data analysis process was used to conduct, collect, and analyze data. Diversity was addressed as an unintentional result. The major finding indicated that collaboration with college/third grade students increased positive attitudes and motivation towards writing at school(Drexler, Dawson and Ferdig, 2007). Blogging and the use of technology should be used more to help student gather, retain, and assimilate knowledge. Students would benefit from more use of interactive tools to help them learn and retain concepts.

  1. Describe the action research study that encouraged equity in teaching practices to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
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“Understanding High School Black Male Student’s Achievement and School Experience” written by Q. T. Nguyen (2007) is the action research study that encouraged equity in teaching practices. . The purpose of the study is to identify what factors contribute to achievement levels of minorities, black males in particular. This was the inquiry question: “ What are the factors that support Black male student’s achievement in MMSD?” (Nguyen,2007). Reviewing current data and interviewing high school students was used as data and for review. The group being studied was a minority which constitutes a diverse population. “Disconnectedness with teachers, low expectations, and irrelevant classes, peer pressure, and family issues were factors that affected high achievement in the population of student?” (Nguyen,2007).. Shared information and realization that more student subjects were needed to further assess. Basically, this topic is needed with a bigger, more focused group of students and needed to include parents and teachers in the next research.

  1. Based on all of this week's Resources, what is the most important thing you learned about the action research process? What questions do you still have about teacher inquiry/action research? Do you think traditional educational research can positively influence your teaching practice? Why or why not?

Based on all the week’s resources, the most important thing I learned about the action research process was it was conducted and lead by classroom teachers, and this process has relevance to the classroom and to the curriculum being taught in that particular class. One question I have about action research is how individualized can it be to reflect impact in special education classes. Traditional educational research has uses in education. These practices are good for identifying processes and for interpreting data for academic success. One research method is not going to serve all facets of the education climate.

Action Research Comparison Chart

Directions: One of the goals of this week’s learning is to become familiar with various action research scenarios that are classroom and student based and see how different they are from traditional-based research studies. Complete the chart below. This exercise will help you compare and contrast the action research studies and better prepare you in responding to the Application questions. Note: You will submit the completed chart as an Appendix to the Application assignment.

Questions

Action Research Study #1

Action Research Study #2

Action Research Study #3

Who is the author of the study (i.e., insider or outsider, researcher or teacher)?

Insider and researcher

Researcher

Insider, teacher

What is the title of the action research study?

Understanding High School Black Male Student’s Achievement and School Experience.

Collaborative Blogging as a Means to

Develop Elementary Expository Writing Skills

Mother Tongue: The role of parent teacher communication in helping students reach new standards.

What is the purpose of the study? Why is it important to the author?

The purpose of the study is to identify what factors contribute to achievement levels of minorities, black males in particular

The purpose of the the study was to show that collaborative blogging would improve student’s motivation to write.

The purpose of this study was to help students achieve standards

What is the research question, and what is its focus (i.e., to predict, make an impact, control, explain a phenomenon or a process, or provide insight into a teacher’s practice to make change)?

What are the factors that support Black male student’s achievement in MMSD?

How can technology be effectively integrated with an expository writing project? Will blogging improve third grade students’ attitude toward writing? Will blogging improve the quality of writing? Will third grade students be further motivated to learn about a topic if they are teamed with college partners for guidance? What are the limitations of blogging in the third grade classroom?

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What happens when I communicate explicitly with parents about standards and what is the impact of parental understanding of LA standards of achievement?

Which data are collected? How are data collected and analyzed?

Reviewing current data and interviewing high school students,

Students attitude via surveys were used to assess before and after attitudes toward writing. A four-step systematic data analysis process

Assessments of student achievement, communication with parents, and reflections from students and parents were collected.

Is diversity addressed? If so, how?

The group being studied was a minority which constitutes a diverse population.

Diversity was addressed as an unintentional result.

Asian students were addressed and culturally linguistics was mentioned in study.

What were the major findings of the action research study?

Disconnectednes with teachers, low expectatins, and irrelevant classes, peer pressure, and family issues were factors that affected high achievement in the population of student s

The major finding indicated that collaboration with college/third grade students increased positive attitudes and motivation towards writing at school

Three problems were obvious from the study:

1. Lack of confidence

2.Cultural values

3.Shy and introverted

What actions or changes resulted from the study? Whom did the changes impact?

Shared information and realization that more student on this topic is needed with a bigger, more focused group of students. Include parents and teachers in the next research.

Blogging and the use of technology should be used more to help student gather, retain, and assimilate knowledge. Students would benefit from more use of interactive tools to help them learn and retain concepts.

Identified need for more translators, translated materials, and overcoming cultural barriers. Primarily, English as Second Language students were impacted or affected.

Reference

Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2009). The reflective educator's guide to classroom

research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Drexler, W., Dawson, K., & Ferdig, R. E. (2007). Collaborative blogging as a means to

develop elementary expository writing skills. Electronic Journal for the

Integration ofTechnology in Education, 6, 140–160.

Goldstone, L. (2003). The mother tongue: The role of parent-teacher communication in

helping students meet new standards. In E. Meyers, & F. Rust (Eds.), Taking

action with teacher research (pp. 63–78). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010). Action research for educators:

Student course introduction. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Nguyen, Q. T. (2007). Understanding high school black male students' achievement and

school experience. In C. Caro-Bruce, R. Flessner, M. Klehr, & K. Zeichner (Eds.), Creating equitable classrooms through action research (pp. 78–99). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Walden University M.S. in Education Program

Formative Evaluative Criteria for Applications and Reflective Essays

Quality of Work Submitted

Work reflects graduate-level critical, analytical thinking.

A: Exemplary Work

A = 4.00; A- = 3.75

All of the previous, in addition to the following:

B: Graduate Level Work

B+ = 3.50; B = 3.00;

B- = 2.75

All of the previous, in addition to the following:

C: Minimal Work

C+ = 2.50; C = 2.00;

C- = 1.75

F: Work Submitted but Unacceptable

F = 1.00

Adherence to Assignment Expectations

The extent to which work meets the assigned criteria.

Assignment exceeds expectations, integrating additional material and/or information.

Assignment demonstrates exceptional breadth and depth.

All parts of the assignment are completed, with fully developed topics.

The work is presented in a thorough and detailed manner.

Assignment demonstrates appropriate breadth and depth.

Most parts of assignment are completed.

Topics are not fully developed.

Assignment demonstrates minimal depth and breadth.

Does not fulfill the expectations of the assignment.

Key components are not included

Assignment lacks breadth and depth.

Assimilation and Synthesis of Ideas

The extent to which the work reflects the student’s ability to-

  1. Understand the assignment’s purpose;
  2. Understand and analyze material in videos, readings, and discussions;
  3. Apply presented strategies

**May include, but are not limited to, scholarly articles, collegial discussions; information from conferences, in service, faculty development, and/or meetings. Outside sources also may include materials from previous Walden MSED courses, videos, and readings. (but aren’t currently being used in this course)In addition, students may refer to the course Webliography, course reference list (Bibliography), and the theoretical foundations, all of which are located on “Course Home” in BlackBoard..

Demonstrates the ability intellectually to explore and/or implement key instructional concepts.

Demonstrates exceptional inclusion of major points, using creditable sources**, in addition to course videos or required readings.

Demonstrates insightful reflection and/or critical thinking.

Demonstrates a clear understanding of the assignment’s purpose.

Includes specific information from course videos or required readings to support major points.

Provides careful consideration of key instructional concepts.

Shows some degree of understanding of the assignment’s purpose.

Generally applies theories, concepts, and/or strategies correctly, with ideas unclear and/or underdeveloped

Minimally includes specific information from course videos or required readings.

Shows a lack of understanding of the assignment’s purpose.

Does not apply theories, concepts, and/or strategies

Does not include specific information from course videos or required readings.

Written Expression and Formatting

The extent to which scholarly, critical, analytical writing is presented in APA format;

Standard Edited English ( i.e. correct grammar, mechanics).

Represents scholarly writing in a correct APA format.

Work is unified around a central purpose with well-developed ideas, logically organized in paragraph structure with clear transitions.

Effective sentence variety; clear, concise, and powerful expression are evident.

Work is written in Standard Edited English. No prominent errors interfere with reading.

Work is well organized with correct APA formatting throughout.

Ideas are clearly and concisely expressed.

Elements of effective communication such as an introduction and conclusion are included.

Work is written in Standard Edited English with few, if any, grammatical or mechanical errors

Somewhat represents mature, scholarly, graduate-level writing, with APA generally followed.

Ideas are not clearly and concisely expressed.

Elements of effective communication such as an introduction and conclusion are not included.

Work contains more than a few grammatical, or mechanical errors.

The quality of writing and/or APA formatting are not acceptable for graduate level work.

Major points do not reflect appropriate elements of communication.

No effort to express ideas clearly and concisely.

Work is not written in Standard Edited English. Contains many grammatical or mechanical errors

A: Exemplary Work

A = 4.00; A- = 3.75

All of the previous, in addition to the following:

B: Graduate Level Work

B+ = 3.50; B = 3.00;

B- = 2.75

All of the previous, in addition to the following:

C: Minimal Work

C+ = 2.50; C = 2.00;

C- = 1.75

F: Work Submitted but Unacceptable

F = 1.00

It is expected that all applications and reflective essays will be submitted according to the assignment due dates indicated. Exceptions may be made

at the discretion of the faculty member if contacted by the student prior to the due date describing extenuating circumstances.

Updated: 7-3-2012