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The negative thinking isn't limited to the adults. Students in these schools complain, [I can't do that] or [This is too hard] or [Why do we have to do this? An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.

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Read preview. Synopsis Action research, explored in this book, is a seven-step process for improving teaching and learning in classrooms at all levels. Through practical examples, research tools, and easy-to-follow "implementation strategies," Richard Sagor guides readers through the process from start to finish.

Continuous Improvement Process

Learn how to uncover and use the data that already exist in your classrooms and schools to answer significant questions about your individual or collective concerns and interests. Sagor covers each step in the action research process in detail: selecting a focus, clarifying theories, identifying research questions, collecting data, analyzing data, reporting results, and taking informed action. Drawing from the experience of individual teachers, faculties, and school districts, Sagor describes how action research can enhance teachers professional standing and efficacy while helping them succeed in settings characterized by increasingly diverse student populations and an emphasis on standards-based reform.

The book also demonstrates how administrators and policymakers can use action research to bolster efforts related to accreditation, teacher supervision, and job-embedded staff development.

Part how-to guide, part inspirational treatise, Guiding School Improvement with Action Research provides advice, information, and encouragement to anyone interested in reinventing schools as learning communities and restructuring teaching as the true profession it was meant to be. Read preview Overview. By Margaret C. Wang; Herbert J. Walberg Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Horn Jr. Social science research became a series of hands-on experiments, emphasising real-time data collection, reflection, and action.

Dr William Barry was one of the first social scientists to envision the potential action research could have on educational practice. But, most critically, these improvements could only be measured as such if there was clear evidence of workplace reform, improved student learning, and transformational growth of the teacher themself.

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Living educational theory as defined and created by Professor Barry is part of the curriculum of multiple courses at Notre Dame de Namur University in Silicon Valley, California in their credentialing program for teacher education. When student teachers use this approach, they undergo a six-step process of action and reflection:. As an iterative process, I start the cycle again within reasonable time constraints. These three different approaches to organising for research serve three compatible, yet distinct, purposes: creating reflective teachers; building professional cultures; and making progress on institutional priorities.

In this way, the individual teachers conducting action research are making continuous progress in developing their strengths as reflective practitioners. This should not be viewed as indicative of a problem. Institutions whose faculties cannot agree on a single research focus can still use action research as a tool to help transform themselves into a learning organisation.

A commitment to continually assess, plan, act, and learn from one's actions.

The wisdom that informs practice starts coming from those doing the work, not from supervisors who oftentimes are less in touch with and less sensitive to the issues of teaching and learning than the teachers doing the work. Furthermore, when teachers begin engaging their colleagues in discussions of issues, the multiple perspectives that emerge and thus frame the dialogue tend to produce wiser professional decisions. When a faculty shares a commitment to achieving excellence with a specific focus— for example, the development of higher-order thinking, positive social behaviour, or higher standardised test scores— then collaboratively studying their practice will not only contribute to the achievement of the shared goal but would have a powerful impact on team building and program development.

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More specifically, action research can be used to do things like meet the needs of a diverse student body or achieve success in a standards-based system. To make things more difficult, standards-driven accountability systems have become the norm in most jurisdictions. Students face consequences regarding promotion and graduation.

Teachers and [institutions] face ridicule and loss of funding if they fail to meet community expectations. Action research can help.

Guiding School Improvement Action by Richard Sagor

Now that we know a few of the ways action research can serve education, how exactly do we use it to improve our teaching? Action research helps educators be more effective at what they care most about— their teaching and the development of their students. Seeing students grow is probably the greatest joy educators can experience. Thus, selecting a focus, the first step in the process, is vitally important. Selecting a focus begins with the teacher researcher or the team of action researchers asking:. What element s of our practice or what aspect of student learning do we wish to investigate?

The second step involves identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretical perspectives that you hold about your chosen focus. For example, if you are concerned about increasing responsible student behaviour, it will be helpful for you to begin by clarifying which approach— whether using punishments and rewards, allowing students to experience the natural consequences of their behaviours, or some other strategy— you feel will work best in helping students acquire those desirable habits.

Once a focus area has been selected and your perspectives and beliefs about that focus have been clarified, the next step is to generate a set of personally meaningful research questions to guide the inquiry. Action researchers can accomplish this by making sure that the data used to justify their actions are valid meaning the information represents what the researchers say it does and reliable meaning the researchers are confident about the accuracy of their data.

Lastly, before data are used to make teaching decisions, teachers must be confident that the lessons drawn from the data align with any unique characteristics of their [institution].