The purpose of this report is to conduct classroom action research art and photography students’ efforts to ascertain how to improve upon their general academic performance through their literacy and functional skills. The report looks to investigate and differentiate between the two groups in order to compare and contrast opinions about the importance of literacy in their learning journey. With the hypothesis that creative A-Level students would improve upon students’ literacy skills if they attend additional grammatical lessons, the paper however, recognises the level of uneasiness most of these students feel during their attendance in such sessions. Focusing on different methods and models of action research, the report concludes with results showing diagrams and charts whilst encouraging the importance of conducting action research in classroom learning.
A.) Position statement
Having experienced practice teaching and lecturing Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND), in Fashion and Textiles last year at Bedford College, my new encounter with younger students (16-18 years old) at the Bedford Sixth Form this year as an Art and Photography lecturer, has given me the opportunity to observe A- level art students behaviour and the general lack of literacy competence among students. Most worrying is the overall feeling of students discomfort in attending additional literacy classes for their academic improvement. (See appendix 1,2 and 3)
II. Action research
According to Hopkins (1985), action research and classroom research by teachers are synonymous. Brown (1994) and Robinson (1991) on the other hand, believe that any action undertaken by teachers to collect data and evaluate their own teaching can be termed action research. In a classroom situation where students manifest their behaviour and feeling of uneasiness to attend literacy lessons, it is the duty of the teacher-researcher to develop the situation in the interest of students.
“Teacher research enables teachers to explore the underlying assumptions, biases, values and ideologies that are inherent in their curriculum and pedagogies.” (Pappas and Raymond, 2011, p.3)
Since the purpose of action research is not to increase knowledge but rather to change the situation, issues of research reliability and validity can generally be moderated in action research while immediate usefulness become more important. Campbell (n.d) draws attention to teachers as potential researchers of their own practices by engaging them in action research. Clearly, this approach shows the importance of active teaching as a combine force for pedagogical and transformational changes in student’s lives.
For this reason, action research often seems an attractive option for teachers new to research. One advantage of action research is that the researcher does not need to create valid research designs, about concepts or statistics. While these points are to some extent true, conducting...