Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Action Research Reflection

This course in Action Research has been very informative and has given me a great amount of information to use in my future as an educator and administrator. The term action research was foreign to be before I began this course, but throughout the completion of these five weeks I have learned so many different ways to apply action research to my area of teaching.
 In chapters 1 and 2 of our Dana text we learned about the listing of the various levels to action research (i.e. classroom, campus, district, etc…) and we were introduced to the 9 areas in which to use action research. I found this information to be particularly informative and learned that there are so many ways that action research can apply to education such as curriculum development, student learning, school performance, and so on. Another component that I appreciated within this course was the video interview assignment.  This gave us an opportunity to hear directly from leaders about how they use action research practices in their schools/districts. The interview segments provided a great deal of insight and suggestions for conducting and using action research in education. The most important suggestion that I took from the three interviews was Dr. Lewis’ advice about making your research address areas that are close to your school’s needs and use it to target specific issues for campus.  This advice seems very logical and important for conducting action research.  The use of discussion boards and our blogs have been a great source of information from my peers in this program.  These methods provide feedback from others that are practicing research as well and it they allow the student an opportunity to share ideas and seek advice from other researchers.  Many of the ideas and thoughts discussed have been ones that I have found very interesting and I find myself eager to learn the results of other research being conducted by my peers. The planning template used in the Week 3 assignment was very helpful in creating the outline for my action research project. This template gave me an opportunity to list the components of my research and prioritize the tasks. It also prompted me to look at how I will evaluate each step of my research and how I will use the information that is found. The planning template was a great way to see the path that I am planning to take with my action research.
Five weeks does not seem like a very long amount of time to learn about such a broad topic as action research; however, completing this course has given me a lot of information to consider and use during my research project and beyond. I feel comfortable in knowing that action research does not have to be a “scary term” but rather a more in-depth look at a particular area of interest.

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