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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? Step 2—Clarifying Theories The second step involves identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretical perspectives the researchers hold relating to their focus.
For example, if teachers are concerned about increasing responsible classroom behavior, it will be helpful for them to begin by clarifying which approach—using punishments and rewards, allowing students to experience the natural consequences of their behaviors, or some other strategy—they feel will work best in helping students acquire responsible classroom behavior habits.
Step 4—Collecting Data Professional educators always want their instructional decisions to be based on the best possible data.
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 classroom or school. To ensure reasonable validity and reliability, action researchers should avoid relying on any single source of data.
Most teacher researchers use a process called triangulation to enhance the validity and reliability of their findings. Triangulation is like studying an object located inside a box by viewing it through various windows cut into the sides of the box.
When planning instruction, teachers want the techniques they choose to be appropriate for the unique qualities of their students. Because the data being collected come from the very students and teachers who are engaged with the treatment, the relevance of the findings is assured.
Fortunately, classrooms and schools are, by their nature, data-rich environments. Each day a child is in class, he or she is producing or not producing work, is interacting productively with classmates or experiencing difficulties in social situations, and is completing assignments proficiently or poorly.
Teachers not only see these events transpiring before their eyes, they generally record these events in their grade books. The key to managing triangulated data collection is, first, to be effective and efficient in collecting the material that is already swirling around the classroom, and, second, to identify other sources of data that might be effectively surfaced with tests, classroom discussions, or questionnaires.
Step 5—Analyzing Data Although data analysis often brings to mind the use of complex statistical calculations, this is rarely the case for the action researcher.
A number of relatively user-friendly procedures can help a practitioner identify the trends and patterns in action research data.
During this portion of the seven-step process, teacher researchers will methodically sort, sift, rank, and examine their data to answer two generic questions: What is the story told by these data?
Why did the story play itself out this way? By answering these two questions, the teacher researcher can acquire a better understanding of the phenomenon under investigation and as a result can end up producing grounded theory regarding what might be done to improve the situation.Paper 50 - 4 Robust processes — papers Figures 1 The action research cycle consists at least of intention or planning 7 before action, and review or critique after.
How to Write an Action Research Paper Expert Help with Writing Action Research Papers An action research paper is typically based on a change that is brought about in an organization, society or a particular program.
An action research paper documents a "cycle of inquiry," in which the writer evaluates a problem and develops a strategy of reform. Educators and educational administrators typically use this writing format to foster continual improvement in teaching or organizational methods.
Expert Help with Writing Action Research Papers.
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An action research paper is typically based on a change that is brought about in an organization, society or a particular program. This type of a paper requires extensive research as it has a two way approach that explains the reasons for the action to be implemented and as well as the steps undertaken to bring about the change.
Action research resources at Southern Cross University, a set of resource files which support an on-line course in action research.
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