Presentation on theme: "The Action Mountain Adventure with action researcher Kathy Valunas S05A3 FINAL PROJECT."— Presentation transcript:
The Action Mountain Adventure with action researcher Kathy Valunas S05A3 FINAL PROJECT
The Adventure Tour Guide with narration by the action research avatar Click Here to Play Narration
The journey towards completing the doctorate in educational leadership and management has been like climbing up a steep and precariously rocky, snow covered enemy.
... the first course was like being forced to sit in a camp at the foot of the trail getting trained for the trip. The second course, similar to getting used to the uneven terrain, was reminiscent of climbers crossing through a valley and then beginning to ascend to what was thought to be the destination to the climbing point.
... the third course, Leadership through Personal and Professional Development, has been filled with challenges and complex activities similar to progressing through the foothills leading up to the steep face.
... the entire journey in the Educational Leadership and Management doctoral program centers around conducting action research to make transformational changes that impact and change the status quo of an organization.
... after taking some wrong paths, and stumbling over piles of rubble, the learning experience continues to prepare this climber to begin additional legs on the journey.
... the approach to beginning action research is to understand how to use the first, second, and third person theory of transformational inquiry suggested by Coghlan and Brannick (2010). First person – individual exploration Second person – collaborative investigation Third person – an action community
Engaging in action science research when developing action plans and implementing changes in an organizations professional development opportunities required investigation into the systems framework. The process was complex and challenging much like traveling across unknown territories and up uncharted mountain paths.
... taking time to stop and reflect throughout the process helps the researcher and the team of participants determine what is working or what needs to be revised on the action research journey.
... part of the journey included taking a detour, on several occasions, to climb the ladder of inferences; by distancing ones self from the chaos of the process, the rays of light can bring the colors of discovery to an entirely new level.
What was thought to be a victory in reaching the top of my ladder of inferences, turned out to be a journey leading to other ladders; … more discoveries on the top rung led me to move to other ladders to continue my fact finding!
Week 1 was packed full of new training, reading, exploring, case studies, what to do and what not to do activities, and packed full of new information. Our cohort of adventurers had to: Analyze situations by framing problems in terms of professional development issues. Use a critical thinking process to assess answers to questions. Use systems thinking to diagnose problems; and Reflect on personal values and behaviors to improve professional practices.
In weeks 2 and 3, once again our cohort engaged in more training but this time it was learning the lingo… it was critical to grasp the process of action research and to understand the language and tools of systems thinking. All along our path of discovery we were encouraged to evaluate existing research. Just as the mountain climber checks and double checks their equipment, the researcher checks and double checks by evaluating current findings, searching for input from others, and investigating the logic of his or her actions. Thus, the beginning phase of the upward journey began with an outline for an action research project at our research site.
Segment 3 was more exciting as the journey became more precarious. By now we were designing an action research plan that aligned with an assumed problem and answered key questions. The exploration process included a strong collaboration with others in order to make our journey more meaningful. Week 4 and 5 of the adventure required the explorer to convey ideas and information in a clear and understandable manner to an audience. When considering the rocky terrain, the climber must carefully choose their footing so as not to suffer injuries. Similarly, the researcher must carefully consider the culture, atmosphere, and external influences when designing the action plan in order to reach a goal.
Week 6 and 7 began the steep climb as we implemented an action plan. Challenging and full of complexities, much like the hidden dangers along the rocky face of the mountainside, the researcher had to be accurate when analyzing the data to draw the most valid conclusions. Before proceeding, the data were categorized and shared with the other participants. This period of reflection was critical before proceeding further. Just as communication is important to the climbers on the journey, so too is the collaborative efforts of the action project team. Week 6 and 7 began the steep climb as we implemented an action plan. Challenging and full of complexities, much like the hidden dangers along the rocky face of the mountainside, the researcher had to be accurate when analyzing the data to draw the most valid conclusions. Before proceeding, the data were categorized and shared with the other participants. This period of reflection was critical before proceeding further. Just as communication is important to the climbers on the journey, so too is the collaborative efforts of the action project team.
Week 8 and 9 found the adventurers enjoying a plateau with the fragrance of success in the air. The long overdue rest allowed the climbers a chance to regroup and rethink the journey by reflecting on where the path had taken them. Thus, the researcher reflected on the action research project and prepared an overview to share with colleagues at the research site. Week 8 and 9 found the adventurers enjoying a plateau with the fragrance of success in the air. The long overdue rest allowed the climbers a chance to regroup and rethink the journey by reflecting on where the path had taken them. Thus, the researcher reflected on the action research project and prepared an overview to share with colleagues at the research site.
Gather & Organize What do I know about the problem? Identify What were the tasks? Generate What do others think about the problem? Decide Which is the best solution to try first? Implement Lets DO IT! Evaluate How well do we do? Communicate Lets tell others! Learn from the Experience What have we learned?
Reaching each peak on the upward journey, the adventurers took time to reflect. In retrospect for the researcher, this adventurous practitioner reflected on the process of action science research, in connection with systems thinking. This process provided the researcher with an opportunity to analyze the challenges and changes that influenced the researchers personal theories of learning and problem solving.
In addition, the investigative inquiry validated the need for further investigation about the professional development needs at the research site. Even though a variety of complex challenges were encountered, by utilizing the ARPP the researcher learned how to determine if assumptions and inferences, made by the research participants, could be used to accurately diagnose a problem and design an effective plan of action to solve a potential problem.
By applying a collaborative methodology for the implementation of an intervention, the research process enabled the researcher to gauge the success of the cycle activities and synthesize the validity of the action research project. Even though the first cycle was successful in determining a need for a customized professional development program, the action research must continue to serve as a guiding principle for further actions.
Action Research Paradigm Protocol (ARPP). (2012). Capella University. EdD program. Coghlan, D., & Brannick, T. (2012). Doing Action Research in your own Organization 3 rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc. Kuhne, G. (2012). Action research: A conversation with Gary Kuhne-ARs fit in education research. Capella University. Interview transcript. Retrieved from: http:// media.capella.edu/CourseMedia/ELM8102/ kuhne_gsp/elm8102u01_ts.html