Presentation on theme: "Promoting Faculty Development & Continuous Program Improvement Through Action Research 2014 Mini-Lilly Presentation Cynthia L. Carver C. Suzanne Klein."— Presentation transcript:
Promoting Faculty Development & Continuous Program Improvement Through Action Research 2014 Mini-Lilly Presentation Cynthia L. Carver C. Suzanne Klein Oakland University
Agenda & Outcomes Introduce participants to action research as a research methodology, focusing on a) purpose and b) use in university settings. Overview for participants our experience of using action research for a) faculty development and b) program assessment and continuous improvement. Engage participants in discussion. How might this approach to assessment and continuous improvement work in your setting? Why or why not? Share tips for designing an action research study and successfully applying for Human Subjects approval.
The Context Master’s Level Principal Preparation Program with biannual university review State-Endorsed, Standards-Based Program with annual state review *** Critical stage in professional development, e.g. early-career with limited leadership experience Rising school leader performance expectations Faculty committed to scholarship of teaching
The Problem We need a systematic data collection process for required university assessment and state review processes We need to strengthen the curriculum so as to attract students within a competitive market We need to strengthen instruction so that students leave the program practice-ready As faculty, we are committed to effectiveness as leadership educators
Warm-Up Discuss with a neighbor your department’s approach to program assessment. What kind of data is gathered? Who conducts the assessment? How are assessment results shared? What changed as a result?
Action Research …The process by which practitioners (e.g., teachers, principals and university faculty) systematically examine authentic problems of practice using the inquiry process of problem posing, data gathering, and data analysis for the purpose of improved practice.
Why Action Research? Applied research Immediate application Faculty development Continued program improvement Models the Inquiry process for students Promotes “Scholarship of Teaching”
Why we chose Action Research… Data for continuous improvement, required by university assessment process Data for tracking individual student performance, required for state review A tool for faculty collaboration, leading to program improvement and faculty development Research method new to Educational Leadership and Higher Education settings
Research Questions 1. How does students’ development as leaders unfold across a preparation program, what is that nature of that development, and can we find predictable turning points in students’ learning? 2. How do program features (e.g. e- portfolio, internship) support students’ development as leaders?
Data Collection Students’ written work, collected naturally as part of required coursework Two cohorts of students Follow-up phone interviews 3-6 months after program completion Consent requested upfront
Initial Analysis Data Collection Student written reflections from required first semester course Observations 1. Identification of predictable turning points anchored our research 2. Qualitative differences (e.g. focus, depth) in written work suggested the possibility of distinct student profiles 3. Was reflective thinking skill a factor underneath these differences?
Focused Analysis: Student’s Reflective Thinking Candidate’s writing samples serve as a proxy for their reflective thinking Translating the theoretical work of Dewey (1904 and 1933) and Schon (1983 and 1987) to leadership preparation Valli’s (1997) typology for reflective thinking served as analytic frame
Typology for Reflective Thinking Technical Reflection Reflection In/On Action Personalistic Reflection Deliberative Reflection Critical Reflection [Adapted from Linda Valli, l997]
Variations Observed Not all candidates have fully developed skills of reflection. We found no examples of deliberative reflection and only a few were coded as critical reflection. Using the Valli typology raised questions about the differences we thought we saw among the three candidates!
Lessons Learned Using the Valli typology provided a fresh lens for examining reflection in leadership preparation. Each candidate displayed some evidence of at least four of the five types of reflective thinking, which informed our understanding of student skill development. The project suggested new research questions about the importance of directly teaching the value of and techniques for reflective thinking.
New Questions What strategies, settings and conditions best support candidates’ learning to be reflective leaders? Do candidates report increased understanding and confidence as reflective thinkers after sustained practice and feedback in the skills of reflective thinking? How does the teaching of reflective thinking impact candidates’ future leadership practice?
Implications for Teaching As instructors we are more intentional in building, refining, monitoring and assessing reflective skills in our students. We are developing tools, strategies and rubrics for assessing the growth in student’s reflective thinking skills over time.
Instructional Plan Introduce candidates to the Valli (1997) “Typology for Reflective Thinking” Model applications of reflective thinking in coursework. Collect additional data to assess effectiveness of intervention: Candidate pre/post ” Reflective Thinking” survey Code student work using “Reflective Thinking” rubric
Project Impact Curricular & instructional improvements Framework with rubric for assessing student skill at reflective thinking Reframing of internship requirement Faculty dialogue & collaboration Improved teaching and learning!
Discussion How might action research, as an approach to assessment and continuous improvement, work in your program or department?
Practical Tips Applying for Human Subjects Approval Distinguish between research, program evaluation and participant assessment Ensure participant confidentiality Provide choice to opt out Align planned data collection with coursework requirements Transparency: share findings openly
Contact Info: Cynthia L. Carver C. Suzanne Klein SEE ALSO: Carver, C. L. & Klein, C. S. (2013). Action research: A tool for promoting faculty development and continuous improvement in leadership preparation. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 8(2).