I have gained a lot of knowledge as I participated in this course. From the beginning of this course, I have slowly gained an understanding of what is involved in research and the importance of becoming a research practitioner in the field of education.
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In the first week, we learned to distinguish researches that are usually done in the classroom using TPRI (Texas Primary Reading Inventory) and PLCs so that we could come up with a plan as a group. A comparison of the two approaches reveals that TPRI is more responsive to discoveries that we make than PLC (Richardson, 2000).
As we moved to the lessons of weeks two and three, it became clear that it is always essential to narrow down your research question to avoid running into trouble. There are eight factors that a teacher needs to consider before deciding to do a research project. This includes the following; the learners, curriculum, knowledge content, teaching strategies, beliefs, professional identity, society, and research context (Dana and Yendol-Hoppey, 2009). These factors are the ones that make the characteristics of research and helps us develop the question for research.
In the weeks that followed, we began our research projects, and it is then that I realized the importance of narrowing down a research question and the relevance of reading the previous journals of research as a guide to doing it for the benefit of the project (Dana, Yendol-Hoppey, 2009). Finding the relevant materials for the study is quite a difficult task because it takes time and involves energy use. When you collect the past journals and use them as a guide to your research, you will be able to develop the proper action plan that will address your research question. The literature will also add credibility to the project being planned (Dana, Yendol-Hoppey, 2009)
While exploring the research done by May, I found out that several things should have been changed. First, her research question should have been narrowed down to include strategies to use in the project. This would help to support the outcome of the project (Dana and Yendol-Hoppey, 2009).
It is always essential to create an action plan that quickly narrows down the research question and has more questions than the original plan. Action research is an ongoing cycle, where one question leads to another and gives strength to the initial problem. It is through this approach that teachers gain knowledge to become better teachers than they were before for the benefit of the learners (Rust, F. and Clark, 2008).
The next item I want to address is the way she collected her data. I think she should have collected data herself instead of letting the students collect. I would still have used the student as my research assistant, but I would take the responsibility of recording people who were causing disruptions and the exact time they were happening. I believe the teacher should have done this as part of her job. She should have been taking notes and recording them in her wandering journal (Rust and Clark, 2009).
It is important to note that action research is about how teachers can provide the right learning environment for learners. To provide a learning experience that both the teacher and learner are involved, the teacher needs to include action research to help find out what is working out and what is not during the school’s calendar year. Students copy behaviors from adults; hence, we as teachers need to be good role models for them. We should always incorporate students into our plans. Most students would feel good to be part of something big. It is also beneficial to them because they learn to conduct their own research, which an essential skill they should have.
Lastly, the information gotten should be shared with other educators. The project is not complete unless you share the information you have collected with other educators (Dana and Yendol-Hoppey, 2009). The information gathered is vital because if it is shared, it can bring positive changes in the school and the entire district.
Plan to use a PowerPoint presentation to present your findings to your colleagues in a professional development session. The benefit of sharing information is the outcomes that you would get from other professionals. When you work with your colleagues, you can initiate positive changes in school (Riel, 2010).
From this course, I have learned how to conduct a research project and the importance of teacher participation in the research. Research is a systematic and reflective study of our actions in the classroom (Riel, 2010). Though conducting the research might seem complicated, it helps us ask essential questions, prepare a plan, and use it to draw a conclusion. When you start to study, you begin to understand the importance of sharing information. As part of the research, we should always strive to find the best strategies that can help our students succeed not only within the classroom or school but also in the outside world.
Dana, N. F., & Yendol, D. (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Richardson, J. (2000). Teacher research leads to learning, action. Web.
Riel, M. (2010). Understanding Action Research, Center for Collaborative Action Research. Pepperdine University. Web.
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Rust, C. and Clark, C (2008). How to do Research in your Classroom. Lessons from the Teacher Network Leadership Institute. Web.
Walden University (2011). A case study: Living the process of inquiry with a real teacher-researcher study. Web.