What is action research?? Good question! Until I began this course in action research, I had no idea. I have since learned that action research is a tool used to identify areas for change and establishing a plan of action to set the change into motion. There are many educational benefits of action research and it can be applied to various areas of education. With this system of research, a leader or principal is directly involved in creating the questions for the research as well as the gathering of information and implementation of a plan.
There are many ways that I feel that action research could benefit my throughout my internship and teaching in general. One of the ways I plan to use action research is the gathering of testing data for my students and using that data to improve my instruction and provide a more targeted approach to my lessons. In my classroom, I provide small group tutoring for students who need support in math and reading. Through analyzing test data from upcoming scheduled testing, I can provide a more prescriptive approach with my struggling students. I will use the information that I gather to target specific weaknesses and hopefully improve upon those areas. In addition to being able to help the students that I see, I can also use this as an opportunity to collaborate with grade level teachers and share my findings so that they may address the concerns with their students as a whole.
Another area where I plan to use action research is in a task that I have been given my my building principal. I have been asked to research 3 management systems and present my findings to our staff. Once I am able to present the structure, benefits, and drawbacks of the three systems, our staff will vote on one system to put into place for the 2012-2013 school year. Using an action research plan will provide me with a plan to proceed with gathering the information and sharing it with my campus. After selecting a system for our school, we will conduct staff trainings and work towards implementing the new adoption. This new system will be a work in progress and will require teacher feedback, adjustments, and reflection over many years.
As I continue with this course and subsequent courses throughout my program, I know that action research is going to be a benefit to me. I can see many areas where this type of research will be of use in my career as an educator and I will utilize the information whenever possible.