Action research is the process of investigating a problem or concern through questioning and reading relevant literature, finding possible solutions to the problem or concern, taking action on the solution that best fits the situation and stakeholders, and sharing the results with others. Action research enables teachers and administrators to stay current on educational topics, model life-long learning, and strive for excellence in an ever-changing world. Action research encourages professional growth as it requires the participant to reflect on his own practice and make changes to improve student learning. It also requires teachers and administrators to participate in meaningful conversations. I see action research as the ultimate "How-To" for individual student improvement.
I look forward to using action research in the EDLD 5301 class to gain the perspectives of my classmates on increasing our students’ deep level of understanding of course material while trying to connect with students performing at all levels. I will also encourage the use of protocols in my content areas in the next school year. Protocols are used to “ensure focused, deliberate conversation and dialogue by teachers about student work and student learning” (Fichman, 2009, p.22). The protocol will have us look at a student expectation, ask clarifying questions about the expectation, state student and teacher difficulties (as seen from past experience) related to the expectation, state possible strategies for presenting the information, and choose the best strategy. After the expectation has been taught, the group will get back together again to see how well it worked and what might need to be changed the next time. I feel that using the protocol will allow best practices to shine through for the benefit of all students.
Fichman, Nancy Dana (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action Researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.