Presentation on theme: "What is Action Research? Unit 1"— Presentation transcript:
1 What is Action Research? Unit 1 The purpose of this unit is to introduce to the basic concepts of action research and the influence of action research on the school counseling profession.
2 Action research is: A. Practitioner driven B. Done to improve one’s own practicesC. PersonalD. Part of your daily workE. Professional growthF. DynamicSo, what is action research?Action research is a practitioner driven method of investigating her own practices. Action research is done to improve one’s own practices. Some think of it as a model of professional development. To conduct an action research project, a practitioner first determines an area of investigation that she is passionate about and then forms a question to investigate. This investigation is a learning experience and the results will allow a counselor to improve her practices and the Counseling and Guidance Comprehensive Program of the school.
3 BRIEF History of AR: 1950 by Steven Corey 1970s and 1980s English and Australians educators1990s Educators in this countryPresently flourishing with many variationsAction research was developed around 1950 by Steven Corey, and was used by social workers to promote community action. English and Australians educators began using an action research framework throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Educators in this country began using action research by the early 1990s. Presently, action research is flourishing in classrooms, schools, and businesses throughout the world. There are many variations of action research, including collaborative action research and participatory action research. Additionally, there are many terms for action research and it variations. Often action research is associated with, practitioner inquiry and practitioner research.
4 Why do Action Research?Explore and improve ones own educational practicesNOT to contribute to the general knowledge base in education. .Not done for judgment of others.PassionSee how students are different because of what you do.AccountabilityBe a better counselorAction research is done as a way to make ones self a better practitioner. In your case you will become a more effective school counselor as you systematically explore your area of interest. You will then be able to make results based decisions. ****Researchers’ interests will evolve as they gain deeper understanding of themselves, their students, and school. Thus, our model of action research includes an "exploring”, as well as an “inquiry” cycle to assist practitioners in their evolution as action researchers. For example, action researchers start with general questions in the beginning of the process, and they explore areas and refine their questions until they settle on a focused question of passionate interest.Action research should not be daunting, but exciting. It can be part of your daily work.Action research is done to explore ones own educational practices for the purpose of improving students success.The goal is NOT to contribute to the general knowledge base in education. Although an accumulation of action research projects on one topic may do this.Action research is done by educators to improve their own practices.It is Not done to impact the practices of many.Action research is done by a professional for professional growth.It is Not done for judgment of others.Action research projects are designed based on one’s curiosity and passion about one’s own practice. Furthermore they are designed without falsely manipulating the environment to control for numerous potentially confounding variables. Thus the results and “implications” are similar to what one would report in a Guidance Curriculum Results Report (ASCA, 2004) are general and allude to cause-effect relationships, they do not state these relationships.Projects are Not designed by controlling variables in order to look at cause-effect relationships.The actions research question and methodology can change as the researcher sees fit during the project.The goal of the action research project is to intentionally and systematically study what you do, and how students are different because of what you do.Action research will make you a better counselor and will provide accountability for how you spend you time as a school counselor.Action research provides school counselors with an integrated way of examining how student learning and student behavior is different because of what they do. It is an inquiry model that guides educators in a systematic study of their own practices. This systematic study can be for the purposes of improving student learning, individual professional development, providing results-based practices, and promoting healthy school environments. School counselors have not necessarily been asked to do positivist research, but for documentation of results; they have simply been asked to be accountable. Thus, in an effort to provide results-based programs, school counselors are discovering the action research model.Action research is designed and implemented from inside the school by the local educator. The basic action research process is composed of series of five steps that provide continuous inquiry. Action researchers use a wide variety of methods and often move back and forth between the process steps. The goals of action research are to systematically study one's own practice for the purpose of learning about and improving it. Ask yourself, “How will I be a better counselor after this?” By doing this one can continue to manage and improve their CGCP based on evidence.
5 Six basic steps in the action research process. 1. Action Research Step - The Question2. Action Research Step - The Plan3. Action Research Step - Collecting Data4. Action Research Step – Findings5. Action Research Step - Analyzing the Data6. Action Research Step - Taking Action
6 I. The Question The driving force of the action research process. Determines the design of the project.The following are characteristics of the question:The question identifies the area of inquiry or study.The question focuses on the action strategy or counseling practice that the action researcher is studying.The question describes who is being studied.The question also describes the anticipated changes or outcomes that implementing the action strategy may have on the people/person being studied by the educator.The inquiry question is not formed so that you receive a positive or negative answer. For example, does .....? Will X ?The question is designed to provide you with rich and meaningful "descriptions". For example, what is the influence of X on ?The question is the driving force of the action research process. The question determines the design of the project. The following are characteristics of the question:The question identifies the area of inquiry or study.The question focuses on the action strategy or counseling practice that the action researcher is studying.The question describes who is being studied.The question also describes the anticipated changes or outcomes that implementing the action strategy may have on the people/person being studied by the educator.The inquiry question is not formed so that you receive a positive or negative answer. For example, does .....? Will X ?The question is designed to provide you with rich and meaningful "descriptions". For example, what is the influence of X on ?
7 Question Examples:Example A--The Question How will using daily journal writing effect my third grade self- esteem group’s attitudes about themselves? Example B---The Question What is the influence of peer mediators on office referrals during third grade recess?Example C-Your turn…………………..Example A--The Question How will using daily journal writing effect my third grade self- esteem group’s attitudes about themselves? Example B---The Question What is the influence of peer mediators on office referrals during third grade recess?Now each student must pause the Power Point and write down a possible research question. It does not have to be the perfect question for your project, just try to write one.
8 II. The PlanCharacteristics The plan is a direct result of and follows the direction of the question. The action research plan focuses on the gathering of information or data needed to answer the question. The following items characterize the action research plan:The plan, “data source”TriangulationTimelineEthical precautionsThe Plan Characteristics The plan is a direct result of and follows the direction of the question. The action research plan focuses on the gathering of information or data needed to answer the question. The following items characterize the action research plan:The plan contains knowledge about "who" will supply information. The "who" is called the data source.Students, teachers, self, test scores, attendance numbers are examples of data sources.There should be at least 2-3 different data sources in the plan.The action research plan also describes at least 3 different methods or ways of knowing that will be used to gather information.Having three sources of data and three different ways of knowing methods creates triangulation.The action plan provides a timeline for administering the data gathering methods.The timeline usually describes where, when, and length of the data gathering procedures.An important part of the plan describes precautions that the action researcher will use to ensure ethical protection for the people providing information.
9 The Plan –Example AExample A--The Action Research Plan Question: How will using daily journal writing affect the students’ attitudes about themselves in my third grade self- esteem group?Data sources: students, counselor, and the teacher. Methods:1) A student survey- used before and after the implementation of the intervention.Used to explore the student’s attitudes about journaling.2) Teacher interview –investigate the change in perceived student attitudes and behavior regarding themselves3) Personal reflection from counselor- any apparent self-esteem change seen in the students’4) Student journals – any apparent self-esteem change seen in the students’ journal entriesTimeline:8 week group starting 10/10/06;Journaling everyday for two monthsInterviews pre and post groupPersonal reflection taken post groupPrecaution:As district policy requires, permission from parents and student will be required for students to start the group. Permission from students will be gained proior to reading the journals. Teacher will be notified of action research project and their requested participation.
10 -The Plan Example B-Question: What is the influence of peer mediators on office referrals during third grade recess?Data sources: Office referral tally sheet; mediator reports; Vice Principal’s report on dealing with referrals. Methods: 1) Office referral tally sheet--use this as a before and after the intervention to see a numerical change in number of referrals sent to the office during this recess period.2) Mediator Reports—read the reports to see how many interventions are had daily and the content of the related interventions.3) Interview the VP every 3 months to attain a qualitative report on any change in referrals.Timeline:Assess each month for the remainder (10/2006-6/2006) of the school year to see longitudinal effect.Precautions:Alert VP of my desire to interview him and gain his permission prior to the interview.
11 III. Collecting Data Characteristics Gather information Monitor your data.Revise as needed.Once a plan is designed the action researcher's next step is to gather the information.The analysis of information or data occurs from the beginning of the data collection step. It is important to monitor your data to determine if it is going to answer your question.As the data is being monitored, the action researcher should ask if the data are consistent with your question.If the information being collected is not consistent to answering the question, then the action researcher must decided if the data methods should be revised to assure that the data will provide appropriate answers.It is also a possibility that the action researcher may want to revise the question to match the data. You may want to alter the question if the data are providing valuable information about the action strategy. Moreover, the information goes well beyond the scope of the question.
12 Collecting Data- Example A Question: How will using daily journal writing affect the students’ attitudes about themselves in my third grade self- esteem group?Collecting and monitoring data:Review journals mid way through the group to see if the students’ entries contain any self- reflection. Look for themes and patterns in the writing
13 Collecting Data- Example B Question: What is the degree of implementation of our new school wide discipline policy for each teacher and how effective does each teacher feel the policy is?Collecting and monitoring data:Survey teachers on their implementation and beliefs of effectiveness.Look for themes and patterns in the answers. If implementation rates are very low, the researcher may want to change the research question to find-out why the implementation is low.
14 IV. FindingsCharacteristics Organizing the data or information is very important. There are several ways to organize the data into findings:Counts instances, events and artifactsDescriptive statistics.Inferential statistics (not often in AR)In the case of numbers, the findings can be presented in tables or charts.Themes or common ideas.Report the findings.Organizing the data or information is very important. There are several ways to organize the data into findings:The analysis of data can include "crunching" numbers to determine means, standard deviations, and ranges.The action researcher can count instances, events and artifacts.In the case of numbers, the findings can be presented in tables or charts.The analysis of data can include determining "themes" or "common ideas" across the data and data sources.When analyzing the data, the action research must consider how he or she will report the "findings" to other educators.
15 Findings -Organizing Data Example A Example A---Theme 1: Essence of student journaling was more positive.Theme 2: Students journal entries included description of positive social interaction for the student.Student’s average score on the list of “Things I’m Good At” raised from 1.5 to 4 on a scale of 1-6.
16 Findings -Organizing Data Example B Beliefs about EffectivenessVery effective for my needs5Somewhat effective for my needs3Not effective for my needs25The data is organized in a simple chart here. This charts allows for clear comparison.
17 V. The AnalysisData that provides contrary information to your question - VERY acceptable.Hiding such data- VERY unethical.Not be limited to "yes" or "no" answers“Question" the findings andQuestion your data sourcesFocus on the relationship of the results to the review of the literature.Implications for changes in practice or further action as a result of the findings.The Analysis It is vital to remember this point--gathering data that provides contrary information to your question is VERY acceptable. In deed, gathering such data and choosing to hide or NOT reveal the information is considered VERY unethical.Additionally, the data should not be limited to "yes" or "no" answers for your inquiry question. You are not trying to prove something works. You are gathering information for the purpose of deepening your understanding. The following items characterize the analysis:The action researcher should "question" the findings.Do the findings answer the question?In what ways do the findings answer or not answer question?What data sources where most instrumental or not important in providing understanding?Which data sources provided which answers?What methods of data gathering were instrumental in answering the question?The analysis of the findings should also focus on the relationship of the results to the review of the literature.The action researcher should determine the implications for changes in practice or further action as a result of the findings.
18 Analysis –Example A & BExample A--The Analysis The findings indicated that initial student resistance to journaling was non-existent. Their initial writings were focused on negative aspects of their day or life, however with time the entries included more neutral or positive writing. The student questionnaires indicated that each student left the group feeling that she was good at more things.Example B--The Analysis The data we collected from the office referral tally sheet showed a decrease in referrals since the implementation of peer mediators. The mediator’s reports indicated they were meeting with numerous students and most of the interventions ended with a “solution”. Finally, the report from the VP indicated there were less referrals to address.These are very short examples here. Longer examples can be found in the course.
19 VI. Taking ActionOnce an educator's understanding is deepened through the action research process, the individual then can make informed decisions about further "action strategies" to implement. The action research steps are repeated with a new "action strategy", question, and inquiry plan.Once an educator's understanding is deepened through the action research process, the individual then can make informed decisions about further "action strategies" to implement. The action research steps are repeated with a new "action strategy", question, and inquiry plan.
20 Taking Action- Ex. A & BExample A The activities in this group did increase the self esteem of these girls. With a higher level of general self- concept these students are ready to be challenged with the requirements of the social and academic life of their classroom. Journaling was an effective tool to measure this change and could be used to monitor these students through the year in order to be proactive in guiding them.Example B Will students continue to need these mediators or will the number of mediator interaction reports decrease with time? Furthermore, are the students learning new skills or is it an issue of attention? Are these skills transferable?