Application: Comparative Look at Action Research

| December 12, 2015

Application: Comparative Look at Action Research

? Application: Comparative Look at Action Research
When teachers view themselves as researchers rather than consumers of research, they accept a more active role in influencing educational practices that enhance student learning and achievement. Through teacher inquiry, teachers are able to examine challenges that are personally and professionally relevant to their teaching. In this week’s Learning Resources, you read three action research studies in which teachers identified their wondering questions, collected and analyzed data, reported results, and reflected on next steps for becoming more deliberate in identifying and addressing individual student’s educational and socio-emotional needs. The studies also demonstrated ways to vary context, purpose, and outcome when designing teacher inquiry. Consider how these examples helped you to see how teacher inquiry could better enable you to address the various needs of your students. How do you envision teacher inquiry impacting your teaching and your students’ learning?
With this in mind, use your completed Action Research Comparison Chart, provided in this week’s Resources, to compare and contrast the three action research studies you selected and read. Remember that one of the goals of this week’s learning is to familiarize yourself with various action research scenarios that are classroom and student based and to compare these examples with traditional educational research you have observed or experienced in the past (i.e., doctorate-level research, traditional quantitative and qualitative studies, or clinical studies). It is important as you analyze these studies to gain a better understanding of how these are similar to or different from traditional education research.
Based on your prior knowledge, understandings of multiple research paradigms from this week’s course readings, and insights gained by comparing and contrasting the three teacher-inquirer research studies, respond to the following:
1. How have you seen or experienced traditional educational research conducted in the past?
2. Who leads educational research? Where, when, and why is it conducted?
3. What is the difference between teacher inquiry/action research and educational research?
4. After studying your completed comparison chart, in what ways are these action research studies the same as traditional educational research studies? In what ways are they different? What are the strengths and weaknesses of them both?
5. Describe which action research study promoted teaching practices that resulted in more culturally responsive teaching. How was it different from the others?
6. Describe the teacher action research study that most influenced the teaching and students’ learning. How was it influential?
7. Describe the action research study that encouraged equity in teaching practices to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
8. Based on all of this week’s Resources, what is the most important thing you learned about the action research process? What questions do you still have about teacher inquiry/action research? Do you think traditional educational research can positively influence your teaching practice? Why or why not?
Important Note: Keep in mind that the terms action research and educational research are sometimes used synonymously in the scholarly world. Reread this week’s Introduction to understand how this course defines the differences between the two. This will prepare you to respond to the questions above.

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