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Action Research

Reflection on Action Research


Adan Rodriguez
University of Saint Mary

Action Research

Selecting an area of focus for diverse students was a choice that came naturally for me.
Choosing an action research plan to implement computer games to diverse student hits close to
home. There have been countless days my daughter has come home asking questions about math
units that she doesnt understand. She comes to me for help on areas that can be understood
easier with supplemental computer games. Students throughout the country continue to struggle
in core classes and it is reflecting with the United States steady decline in mathematics scores for
high school students. There have been many studies with the implementation of technology in
the classroom, but few have focused on the actual achievement of students.
I currently do not have a classroom. My educational setting will be a hybrid of schools in
the town I currently live in and between the schools that I attended. Mabton School District in
Mabton, Washington provides an excellent source of students to implement several action
research projects. Math scores in Mabton Middle School have declined for the last couple of
years. The data provided by the state also shows a correlation between income levels and student
achievements in the school. I chose Mabton School District because of the diverse population
that the school offers as well as it currently has 95% of the student population are receiving free
or reduced lunches Often students who are low income or students who suffer from learning
disabilities fall through the cracks; and implementing my action research plan will help these
students have a fighting chance.
Now with an Area of Focus statement and with some research questions I can refine my
area of focus or my research questions. I will ensure that my questions are answerable given
the researchers expertise, time, and resources (Mills, pg. 221, 2014). Working within your
scope of research is important, not overextending yourself will ensure you have a successful
project. The collection of data is going to be a vital stage in the action research project.

Action Research

Gathering the data from participants is what is going to feed your action plan. The techniques
used can range from observations, interviews and artifacts. Thus encompassing the (three Es) in
data collection techniques. Mills experiencing, enquiring and examining provide an array of
avenues for action researchers to capture the best data. After analyzing and interpreting the data
the action plan can be developed in order to facilitate implementation of necessary plans in order
to improve the math scores.
Action research can be used in many areas. Being in the military I can connect it to
various methods that Im familiar with. For example, the MDMP and the Lean Six Sigma. Both
of these processes offer participants the ability to improve an organization while reducing risk,
waste, and barriers for progress or success. My action research can be used in various settings.
My daughters attend schools with a high concentration of military children. They offer a great
opportunity to implement action research projects. The diversity in military students gives
teachers and researchers an incredible baseline to work with. Implementing my action research
plan in my daughters school will be a perfect fit because they have the resources necessary.
The schools offer students from fourth through sixth grade Lenovo tablets that can be taking
home and used for school work. By increasing students exposure to computer math games this
will increase students base knowledge in mathematical functions.
The action research process is very similar to the USMs conceptual model. The USM
Knowledge in action model has the following steps: beginning premise, examining,
implementing better action, measuring and evaluating outcomes, and reflecting on the process.
The action research process follows similar steps: reflects, acts and evaluate (Hendricks, pg. 11,
2013). The process should invariably spirals the researcher back into the process repeatedly
(Mills, 2011). The process is never ending, it just continues to start over with new problems

Action Research

identified. It has the same foundation as USMs knowledge in action (KIA). Action research
and KIA offer reflective practices for educators to use in improving their schools.
The National Board Profession Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has core propositions that
echo action research principals. The NBPTS five propositions are teachers are committed to
students and their learning, know subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students,
are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning, think systematically about their
practice and learn from experience and teachers are members of learning community. These five
propositions offer a code for teacher to instruct by while trying to improve students through
tough rigorous curriculums. Both focus on the bottom line of helping students.
The Graduate Programs Outcomes Assessments has eight dispositions. My area of focus
covered several of the dispositions. The following GPOs are covered in my area of focus:
respecting and honoring diversity and global perspective, performing critical analysis, reflective
practice, and promoting student learning utilizing assessments, technologies, and best
instructional practices. Whether you are talking about the MDMP, KIA, GPOs or NBPTS the
process of fixing a problem through identifying a problem, creating a plan, implementing a plan
evaluating the plan. Action research is a process that is continues just like learning process.
When the cycle stops learning stops.

Action Research

References
Hendricks, C. (2013). Improving Schools Through Action Research: A Reflective Practice
Approach. Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education Inc.
Mills, G. (2014). Action Research. A Guide for the Teacher Researcher. Upper Saddle River,
NY: Pearson Education Inc.