Action Research Model
What is Action Research?
- Teachers and principals work best on problems they have identified themselves
- Teachers and principals become more effective when encouraged to examine and assess their own work and the consider ways of working differently
- Teachers and principals help each other by working collaboratively
- Working with colleagues helps teachers and principals in their professional development
Steps in Action Research
- Identify – Problem, Question, Baseline Data, and Professional Development
- Plan – The Intervention, Assessment, and Time to Assess
- Collect Data
- Analyze Data
- Reflect – What was learned, what will be improved, and making improvements
Step 1: Identify A Problem Area
Developing a question:
- Be a higher-order question – not a yes/no
- Be stated in common language, avoiding jargon
- Be concise
- Be meaningful
- Not already have an answer
Current Level of Performance
What can we learn about the problem area from our site?
What is the current status (baseline) before we change anything?
- Multiple sources for triangulation
- Find data to describe current practice and data that describes student status
- Organize data for ease in uncovering trends and patterns.
Potential Data Sources
- Existing archival data within a school
- Classroom and school observations
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Exhibits, portfolios, etc.
- Test results
- Inventories and checklists
- Visual recordings and photography
- Journals and diaries
Identify Professional Development
- What learning experiences will provide your team with the knowledge they need to design and implement an improvement that will address the problem?
- Look for a close relationship between what the PD offers and solutions to the problem.
- Check the research – is there evidence of positive outcomes for the PD?
- Attend professional development.
Step 2: Plan
- Use PD to plan an intervention and implement it.
- Plan the type of assessment tools your team will use to gather evidence. Develop tools that will allow confirmation (triangulation) with at least one other data source.
- Plan the times to assess student learning and to collect other data.
Step 3: Collect Data
- Conduct collection of the data collection your team determined it will need to measure the effect of the intervention and thereby the effect of the professional development.
Step 4: Analyze & Interpret Data
Action researchers analyze data to summarize it dependably and accurately
- Techniques depend on the type of data collected
- Identify themes – patterns that emerge and repeat
- Code and sort results from surveys and interviews
- Ask key questions: who, what, where, when & how
- Identify needed data and unanswered questions
Data Interpretation - Techniques for teacher researchers
- Extend analysis by raising more questions about the study
- Compare findings with your personal experience as an educator
- Collaborate – teamwork increases perspectives
- Seek context in related literature
- Turn to theory
Step 5: Reflect
- With your team think about what you learned from the first cycle of implementation. Use this reflection on data and interpretation to inform a plan of action for year two and a second cycle.
- Revise your PD plans and intervention.
- Prepare to report your findings.