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Action Research For Educational Change, Improvement And Reform

2209 words - 9 pages

Action Research for Educational Change, Improvement and ReformEdu.7374Dr. Linda A. CatelliBy Stephanie AlkesAction research is a multi-faceted type of research. It can be used for school based curriculum development, professional development, systems planning, school restructuring, and as an evaluative tool. In this essay I will define and explain action research including its purposes, key characteristics, levels and history. I will describe how it differs from other types of research. I will identify and explain the different conceptualizations. I will describe the steps involved in conducting an action research study and the concept of triangulation. Lastly I will identify and explain one study that employs the action research methodology.Action research is a process in which participants examine their own educational practice systematically and carefully, using the techniques of research. Action research specifically refers to a disciplined inquiry done by a teacher, or group of teachers, with the intention of informing and changing his/her practices in the future. This research is carried out within the context of the teacher's environment-that is, with the students and at the school in which the teacher works-on questions that deal with educational matters at hand. The information is collected with the goals in mind of gaining insight, developing reflective practice, causing positive changes in the school, and improving student learning and teacher effectiveness. Action research encourages teachers to be continuous learners throughout their practice of teaching. When the teachers conduct research in their own classrooms and schools, they are able to model for students the skills needed to make learning effective and also instill the desire to learn new and exciting things. Action research helps teachers to look into their own teaching so that they can improve and enhance their effectiveness. Teachers gain better understanding of students' behaviors and of themselves as teachers. This helps teachers to make more informed decisions, link prior knowledge to new information, learn from their experiences and to ask questions and find research-based answers. Teachers should be constantly researching and educating themselves in their area of expertise. This is different from the study of more educational questions that arise from the practice of teaching. Teachers will begin a cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflection, and deciding on a course of action. Many action research projects are started with a particular problem to solve, whose solution leads into other areas of study. While a teacher may work alone on these studies, it is also common for a number of teachers to collaborate on a problem, as well as enlist support and guidance from administrators, university scholars, and others.The five key characteristics of action research are that the research is persuasive and authoritative, relevant, accessible, that the research...

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