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Action Research

Defined:
Investigations conducted
by and for the people
taking the action, on their
own action to inform their
future actions.
Compact for Continuous
Improvement

Teaching
and
Learning

Critical Study
“What informs our decisions”
TWO TYPES OF ACTION RESEARCH

• DESCRIPTIVE STUDIES
(understanding what is)

• QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES
(testing theories)
FOUR STAGE PROCESS
Clarify Your Vision/Targets

Articulate Your Theory(s)

Implement Your Theory

Reflect on Results
A Leadership Mantra
• What specifically do you hope to
accomplish?

• Specifically, how do you plan to


accomplish this? Why?

• How will you monitor your progress?

• How will you report what you’ve learned?


Stage #1
Clarify Your Vision/Targets

What improvements in student or


school performance would you like
see?
Professional Learning Communities:
• Successful schools will have learning rather
than teaching as a focus. Teachers will
work together to analyze student work and
consider best practice.

• Instructional decisions will be based on


data, emphasizing formative as well as
summative data.
Professional Learning Communities:
• Collaborative conversations will be a part of the
regular school day for teachers.

• There will be a focus on results and staff will hold


themselves accountable.

• Professional learning teams will function


successfully on a variety of levels leading to
improved student achievement.
Professional Learning Communities:
• SMART goals will be understood and used
meaningfully.

• Action research or principal/teacher inquiry will


inform practice.

• Students who are experiencing difficulty will be


supported. Learning is for all students.
Professional Learning Communities:

• Students will do better on a variety of


assessments. They will feel more confident
about literacy and numeracy and develop a
stronger love of learning.
An Achievement Target
Targets as Dependant Variables:
Generating Rating scales
The purpose of the target (when doing
quasi-experimental research):

By stipulating a dependent variable (your


achievement target), you are saying:
“If my intervention has a positive effect on
the target, it will validate my
hypothesis.”
Two Types of Variables:
• Dependent variables:

What we want to see changed

• Independent variables

What we will be doing


Targets /Dependent
Variables
For each target you are investigating you
will need:

• To locate a valid/reliable assessment, or

• Develop your own quality assessments


Criteria for Building a
Rating Scale
• Basic: This is the minimum level of performance that could be
considered a demonstration of this skill.

• Developing: This is a good level of performance. I would be


pleased if all my kids were here.

• Fluent: This a truly remarkable demonstration of proficiency.


Rating S cale
IMPROVING “I NFERENTIAL COMPREHENSION”

BASIC DEVELOPING FLUENT


(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
After reading a grade- After reading a grade After reading a grade After reading a grade After reading a grade
level appropriate essay, level appropriate essay level appropriate essay level appropriate essay level appropriate essay
the student can the student can the student can the student can the student can
accurately restate the accurately retell the accurately retell and accurately retell and accurately retell and
main idea. author’s thesis. support the author’s support the author’s support the author’s
thesis with multiple thesis with multiple thesis with multiple
details from the text. details from the text details from the text,
and can draw logical can draw logical
inferences about the inferences about the
author’s point of view. author’s point of view
and the student can
persuasively support
those inferences by
referencing the
languag e and
vocabulary used by the
author.
Rating Scale Worksheet
BASIC DEVELOPING FLUENT
1 2 3 4 5
Developing and Using a
Theory of Action
Stage #2
Articulate Your Theory(s)

What actions do you think


would/could produce the desired
results?
Visual Depiction of Relationship of Vision/Targets and Theory
Current Situation
(A)

Now

Where you a nd your


students are now
Visual Depiction of Relationship of Vision/Targets and Theory
Current Situation Vision/Outcomes
(A) (C)

End of
Now
Process

Where you a nd your


students are now Th e "Promised Land"
Visual Depiction of Relationship of Vision/Targets and Theory
Current Situation Intended Action(s) Vision/Outcomes
(A) (B) (C)

End of
Now
Process

Where you a nd your


students are now Your Th eoretical P erspective Th e "Promised Land"
Visual Depiction of Relationship of Vision/Targets and Theory
Current Situation Intended Action(s) Vision/Outcomes
(A) (B) (C)

End of
Now
Process

Where you a nd your


students are now Your Th eoretical P erspective Th e "Promised Land"
Surfacing the Critical
Independent Variables:
The Priority Pie
Identifying the Variables
PRIORITY PIE
List the most significant factors under our control that
we will need to attend to if we are to succeed with/on
this achievement target:

Factor:
__________
__________
__________
Identifying the Variables
PRIORITY PIE
List the most significant factors under our control that
we will need to attend to if we are to succeed with/on
this achievement target:

Factor: Percent:
__________ _____
__________ _____
__________ _____
__________ _____
Total: 100%
Priority Pie
T he D evelopment of Editing Proficiency

25%
5% Word Processing
15% Vocabulary
Motivation
Comfort/criticism
15%
voice
15% Usage rules
25%
(figure 5.4)

Building Motivated Learners

15% Belonging Affiliation


25%
High Academic Self-
Image
15% Internal Locus of
Control
Being Needed Valued
15%
Optimistim

30%
We believe that there are five factors which contribute to student resiliency and enhance
motivation. The most critical of these being a n internal locus of control (30%). Possessing a
strong a cademic self-im age, feeling a s ense of affiliation a nd belonging a t school and feeling
needed are equally important factors (15 % each). Finally, we believe that holding a n
optimi stic view of the future is the second most pow erful factor (25%)
The Graphic Reconstruction:
Your Implementation
Roadmap
Columbus’ Hypothesis
If I sail due west from Europe, for about
4,000 miles, then I should land on the East
Coast of Asia.

If I am correct, the ocean route will prove to


be more efficient (than the overland route)
for importing goods from East Asia.
Visual Depiction of Relationship of Vision/Targets and Theory
Current Situation Intended Action(s) Vision/Outcomes
(A) (B) (C)

End of
Now
Process

Where you a nd your


students are now Your Th eoretical P erspective Th e "Promised Land"
The Graphic Reconstruction: Your Road
Map for Implementation

• This will be a visual outline of the route


you believe you should take.
• If followed you truly believe it will take
you to the desired destination.
• It clearly reflects your understanding of
the order of activities and events which
will need to occur if you are ultimately to
achieve success.
(figure 5.3)
E nhanc i ng Pro blem Solvi ng Capac it y
Attends one meeting of
each work group bi- Weekly Team
weekly Plannin g
Meetings

Post Team
Meeting
Agendas
Creates a
Schedule for
Shared Team
Planning
Faculty
Principal Intranet Discussion
Place Skillful
Proble m-
Organized Around Solvers
School Goals
Posts
School-wide Practice Proble m
Solving Skills
performance
data

Generate Topics
Posts Monthly for Monthl y Monthly
Reports re: Proble m-Solving Proble m- Solving
Status on Meetings Faculty Meetings
School Goals

Workshop on
Creates Monthly Problem
Late-start Solving
Schedule Techniques
Drawing out your theory….
1) Brainstorm on a separate post-it note, every factor, variable, issue,
phenomena or force that you feel influences performance in this
area and/or ought/could/might come into play as you endeavor to
improve performance.

2) Arrange the post-its in a manner which will illustrate a clear, direct


and detailed route to the desired destination.

Your road map should illustrate:

1) What problems exist


2) What needs to be done
3) In what manner it needs to be done
4) What combination of things need to occur, and
5) In what sequence they ought to occur
Purposes of the Graphic
Reconstruction

• It clarifies and provides you with direction


for the implementation of your “theory of
action.”

• When shared with your students, it helps


make the the mysteries of the instructional
process more understandable and coherent.
Purposes of the Graphic Reconstruction,
con’t

• If it works satisfactorily, others will be able


to “walk your walk”

• If it doesn’t work as planned, you can


retrace your steps to determine when and
where things went wrong.
3 Generic (ACR) Research
Questions:
• What did you actually do (action)?

• What improvement(s) in performance


occurred on your targets (change)?

• How and in what way did your actions


influence the noted changes in performance
(relationships)?
Stage #3
Implementation/Data
Collection

How will you know if your actions are


producing the desired results?
DATA COLLECTION PLAN
RES EARCH DATA DATA DATA
QU ES TION S OU RCE #1 S OU RCE #2 S OU RCE #3

What did we
actually do?

What
improvement
occurred on
our targets?

How did our


actions
influence
these
changes?
Some Sources of Data
• EXISTING SOURCES
--Student work (portfolios)
--Documentary evidence (archival data)

• TOOLS FOR CAPTURING EVERYDAY LIFE


--Diaries, logs, journals
--Tapes (audio/video)
--Photographs
--Shadowing
--Observation checkists

• TOOLS FOR QUESTIONING


--Interviews
--Surveys
--Tests
--Focus groups
Trend Analysis:
Analyzing Historical Data
(8.2)

2.5

1.5

1
88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

Fatalities per 100 Million VMT


(figue 8.3 )

2.5

1.5

1
88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

Fatalities per 100 Million VMT

80

60

40

20

0
88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98

Seat Belt Use Rate (%)


Trend Analysis
P
E
R
F
O
R
M
A
N
C
E

TIME/ACTIONS
(figure 7.8) Name________________________ Date:________________

Feedback Report
Scale #1
Today

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Why?

Scale #2
Today

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Why?
(figure 7.9)
Name________________________ Date:________________ Name_____________________ Date:_____________

Feedback Summary Feedback Summary


Scale #1 Scale #2

10 10
9 9
R 8 R 8
A 7 A 7
T 6 T 6
I 5 I 5
N 4 N 4
G 3 G 3
S 2 S 2
1 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Date Date

Explain? Explain?
Conducting Rate of Growth
Assessments
(figure 3.7)

Ready for
Rate of Growth Expectations
College Math

*
Ready for
AP Calculus

Zero math 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Skills
Grade
(figure 3.6)

Qui ck Ti me ™ an d a
TIFF (Un co mp re ss ed ) d e co mpre ss or
a re ne ed ed to s ee th i s p ic ture.
Creating and Using Mile-
posts
• Identify expected proficiency at the end of the term
• Build a task analysis containing every sub-skill between
the entry performance of your weakest student and the
expected proficiency.
• On the task analysis indicate the “expected entry level of
performance.”
• Divide the number of months in the term by the number of
sub-skills between the expected entry and exit levels.
• Gaining skills at this rate is the expected “rate of
progress.”
End of School Year week #36

week #28

week #32
week #20

week #24
week #12

week #16
week #4

week #8
Start of School Year
Rate of Progress Tracking Sheet

Student:___________________ Subject:_______________________________

Skill/ELR Date:

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May June

Shade in a column starting from left to right whenever proficiency is demonstrated


on a requi red skill
Stage #4
Reflect on Results

In what ways did your “theory of


action” prove correct and/or how
should it be modified, in light of your
findings?
Graphic Reconstruction
Revisit your original graphic reconstruction,
asking:

• Is this still an accurate picture of reality as


we currently understand it?

• Are there any factors, variables, or


significant issues which we should add,
delete or modify?
Problems with Columbus’
Theory

• Miscalculation of distance by Marco Polo

• Not knowing about Western Hemisphere


(figure 9.1)

Comparison of Maps 14 89 to 1627


SAMPLE SCHOOL POLICY
Given adequate funding, it is our desire to
approve all reasonable proposals for program
initiatives.

Site-council approval will be based upon the


presentation of credible data on effectiveness.

If data is unavailable, approval will be based


upon the presentation of a defensible theory
accompanied by a workable data collection
plan.