Week 3 (Sep12. 06)
Introduction to Action Research
Agenda for Today
What is action research
Deciding on an area of focus
Action research – example#1
Research report/proposal
Action research proposal – parts that make the whole
Draft #1
HW: Deciding on an area of focus through
observing your own teaching for a week. Prepare
a 1-page essay (drawing or any format). Bring it
to class on Week 5 to share: Things I’ve learned
from my own teaching.
Sharing life – what to share
The worst moment in my teaching career…
 One moment in my classroom…
 Anything else about your teaching?
Types of Scientific Research (Review)
Categorized by purpose
Basic Research
Applied Research
Evaluation Research
Research and Development (R&D)
Action Research (Woho!)
Categorized by method
Qualitative research
Descriptive research
Correlational research
Causal-comparative research
Experimental research
Single-subject research
Narrative research
Ethnographic research
Categorized by time
Cross-sectional research
Longitudinal research
Introduction to Action Research
What is action research: Mills (p5)
Select an area of focus for your Action Research
What criteria/tips does Mills suggest when
selecting an area of focus?
Select an area of focus for your Action Research (cont.)
Mills recommends the following criteria when selecting and
area of focus:
The area of focus should involve teaching and learning and
should focus on ones own practice.
The area of focus is something within your locus of control.
The area of focus is something you feel passionate about.
The area of focus is something your would like to change or
Why teacher researcher? (3.1.1)
What do I learn from this reading?
Why teacher researcher?
What does the author intends to say about
research through Julie and little Johnny's
In what sense is Julie a researcher?
It conveys the simplicity of beginning with
genuine questions.
 Goal of research: to gain access to the
play ground
 Method: getting data- little Johnny to ask
mom, analyze the data and find the
Research is a process of
Discovering essential questions;
Gathering data, and analyzing it to
Answer those questions.
What teacher research/action research is
Research that is initiated and carried out
by teachers in their classrooms and
Teacher researcher use their inquiries to
study everything:
The best way to teach reading,
Most useful methods for organizing group
Different ways girls or boys respond to a
science program.
Teacher research…
Begins with genuine research questions that are truly
relevant to researchers
Teacher researcher
Significant contributor to research
Source of systemic reform in individual schools and districts.
Rich in classroom anecdotes and personal stories.
Not written in distance, third-person voice, but has an
immediate, first person tone.
Stories are a critical tool for illuminating the deeper
theories or rules governing the way a classroom community
A “maybe” work – after the list of so many
duties/obligations… but there are ways to develop inquiry
skills that are relevant to almost any teacher and classroom
Little r and Big R (3.1.2)
What do I learn from this reading?
Research can focus on problem they are trying to
solve in their own classrooms.
Observing students closely, analyzing their needs,
and adjusting the curriculum to fit the needs of
all students
Teacher research involves collecting and
analyzing data as well as presenting it to others
in a systematic way
Teacher-Researcher: the end goal is to create
best possible learning environment for students.
e.g. blank look – “how else can I teach this
concept?” (and that’s research!)
“Careful gardener” metaphor
Celebrating “Things I learned last week” (3.1.3)
Observe your own teaching and your
class/students for a week
Look closely at the small details
Process daily small moments
These small details will become building blocks of
our lives as researchers
HW for this week:
Discovering my research questions through observation
Things I’ve learned this week about
teaching. It can be any form:
A journal
A list
A poem
Remember the purpose of doing this though!!!
To identify you an area of interest and try to frame your
research questions.
Strategies for working toward a research question
Process the reading (whole class)
Each group pick one of the strategies and
help the class understand that strategies
through giving examples.
Understanding Action Research
Textbook Chapter 1
Framing research questions
Open-ended (not yes or no question)
Pose the question in a way that can be
answered by descriptions and
observations – how & what
What intrigues you in your classroom?
What are you puzzled by in your
Are there what-ifs running through your
mind begging to be explored?
The way of finding and framing research questions
It takes time
It may involve a lot of exploration through
The research cycle continues with new
question as well as possible answers.
Tip: Don’t rush to state a question so your
research can begin. Figuring out the
question is an important part of the
Finding research interest/area/question (brainstorming )
Sharing the journey - how do I find my
own research interest/research question
Literacy &
and writing
3 major steps in doing a research study (Review)
Preparing a proposal describing the study
to be done and its significance (EDU651)
Collecting and analyzing data (EDU652)
Writing a report of the complete study
Action Research example #1
What is the structure of the research
 Parts that make a whole
What is the background info-in what way does
the author stated the problem?
What is the purpose of the study?
What are the research question and subquestions?
Components of a Research Proposal
Format of a Research Report/Proposal
Problem Statement
Purpose of the study
Research questions
Definition of terms
Review of the literature
Results/Findings (Research Report)
Discussion (Significance of the study-how might the inquiry
improve my teaching)
Introduction Components (Draft #1)
Problem Statement
 Purpose of the study
 Research questions
 Definition of terms
An annotated bibliography of 8 entries
Identify Your Area of Interest – 1st try
What intrigues you in your classroom?
Action Research Examples
For Next Week –Library Time
Get a good mastery of literature search
skills so that you are able to do search for
your proposal writing.
 Prepare 8 entries of annotated
bibliography (which will also be the bases
of your literature review draft#2 (8+4).
 Out of the 8, at least 4 needs to be
empirical research; at least 3 needs to be
action research.

Week 6 (10/04/05)