Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road / Edition 3

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Conducting action research in the classroom is a significant way for teachers to assess their own teaching with regard to student learning. Designed for teachers, especially reading teachers, Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road uses the analogy of action research as a journey for self-discovery in evaluating how effective they are as classroom teachers. The text provides a clear and thorough set of exercises and directives for determining a research plan, organizing the research, developing evaluation tools, collecting, displayng and evaluating data.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780135157619
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 5/22/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Joanne M. Arhar started her career as an English teacher at a high school in the Cleveland area. What was most rewarding was working collaboratively with colleagues on interdisciplinary projects. After twelve years, she decided to work as an administrator at both the middle and high school levels, developing curriculum, facilitating the change from a junior high to a middle school concept, and supporting teachers in interdisciplinary teaming. During her doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati, she studied the ways in which teams in both schools and industry developed to create a more supportive and productive working and learning environment. Following graduate school, she taught in the Educational Leadership department at the University of South Florida and later moved to Kent State University where she currently coordinates the Middle Childhood Education program and teaches courses in teaching studies, teacher action research, and middle grades education. Her scholarship continues to revolve around ways in which teachers can provide curricular leadership in an era of standards and accountability.

Mary Louise Holly is professor in the department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies, and director of Kent State University's Faculty Professional Development Center. Her career began in 1968 as an elementary school art consultant. She became a classroom teacher of young children, and later a professor of curriculum and teaching. Her study of professional development led her as a visiting scholar to two institutions known for action research: the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia in England, and the School of Education at Deakin University in Australia. Early in her career Mary Lou began documenting and learning from her teaching using artistic and qualitative methods. This introduced her to action research and laid a foundation for later work with adults using life history and biographical methods. Related works include: Writing to Grow: Keeping a Personal-Professional Journal (Heinemann, 1989) and Perspectives on Teacher Professional Development with Caven McLoughlin (Falmer Press, 1989).

Wendy C. Kasten is a professor of Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy at Kent State University, teaching the action research course for the graduate program in reading specialization. At KSU since 1995, Kasten has taught elementary school in Maine, and higher education at the University of South Florida, University of Maine, and at Deakin University in Australia. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Arizona's program in Language and Literacy in 1984, where she was a graduate teaching and research assistant. Kasten is active in the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Reading Conference and the Whole Language Umbrella. She is the 1997-2001 President of the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT), an invitation-only collective of literacy educators in multiple countries who share holistic and constructivist views of learning. She is co-author of The Multi-age Classroom: A Family of Learners (with B. Clarke, 1993, Richard C. Owen Publishers) and Implementing Multi-age education: A Practical Guide (with E. Lolli,1998, Christopher-Gordon Publishers) and many chapters and articles on literacy topics. Her next book, A Children's Literature Text she is writing with Janice V Kristo, will be published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall.

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Table of Contents


1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow

A Time for Transformation If Ever a Time There Was

Action Research Defined: Doing It Differently

New Worlds - New Challenges - New Minds

Human Understanding and Community

Challenges to Educators

Calling All Wizards

Visions of a Profession of Wizards

2. Learning: Creating New Possibilities for Action

Professional Learning, Scholarship, and Community

Action Research and Educational Promise

Exploring the Forest: Developing Tools for the Journey


3. The Bigger Picture: Paradigms, Theories, and Research

Action Research in the Context of Research

4. Three Orientations to Knowledge and Methods of Research


Methods of Research

Images of Teacher Learning: Three Ways to Consider the Relationship Between Knowledge and Practice

Characteristics of Action Research

Research Methods

5. From a Meandering Path to the Yellow Brick Road: A Brief History of Action Research

Against the Tides: Trail Blazers

Today: AR as Critical Reflection


6. Journey of the Self: There's No Place Like Home

Ways to Exolore Our Teaching Selves

7. The Development Journey: Self and Action Research

A Developmental Continuum: Learning to Love the Journey

Three Domains of Development


Case Studies

Helping Jen Learn English as a Second Language

The Literature Circle's Study

The S.T.A.R. Club Study

The Democratic Classroom Study

8. From Curiosity to Research Questions

How Do Questions Evolve?

Lenses for Inquiry: Zooming In, Zooming Out

9. Exploring and Problematizing Our Practice

What Do I Already Know?

Problematizing the Story of Chuck

A Scaffold for Problematizing

What Do Others Know? Students and Colleagues as Resources

Reviewing the Literature to Problematize

What Do I Expect to Find?


10. From Research Questions to Planning a Study

What Is Design?

Designing a Quick Practice Study

11. Elements of Design: Planning and Documenting the Action

What Will I Try Out in Order to Improve My Practice? The Action Plan

How Will I Document the Process?



Examining Documents and Artifacts

12. Elements of Design: Verification, Interpretation, and Portrayal

How Will I Verify That My Judgements Are Trustworthy, Credible, and Respectful?

How Will I Interpret the Data?

How Will I Portray What I Have Learned and Make It Public?

How Will These Actions Make Life Better? What Will I Do Next?

What Ethical Considerations Need to Be Made?


13. Exploring and Theorizing the Stories

Ongoing Interpretation



Theorizing and Making Assertions


Oral Inquiries: Making Interpretations and Assertions in Community

14. Taking Action - What Will I Do Next? And How Will It Make Life Better?


The Tension Between Democracy and Control in Educational Change


15. Writing as a Research Process

Writing Down, Writing Up, and Writing About

16. Narrative Writing

Narrative Defined: A General Term, a Process, and a Product

Writer Perspectives

Portraits, Portraiture, and Vignettes

17. Report Formats

General Questions and Information About Writing and Sharing

Foundational Questions to Consider

Questions Related to Sections of the Report

18. Building Learning Communities: Sharing Our Research

Structures for Action Research Communities

Ways of Sharing With the Larger Community

Developing Our Knowledge Base Through Transforming Ourselves as Learners

Lessons from Oz

Riddles, Paradoxes, and Contradictions

Lessons from Home, Heart, Mind, and Courage

The Riddles of Oz

Exploring the Forest: Constructing Lessons from Oz in a Portfolio

The Researcher's Story of the Journey


Travelers' Notes and Stories A Problematizing the Honor Roll in Your School

Travelers' Notes and Stories B Increasing Social Interaction Between Students with Multiple Handicaps and Their Typical Peers

Travelers' Notes and Stories C Organizing and Visually Displaying Data

Travelers' Notes and Stories D Analyzing Student Writing and Mathematical Data

Travelers' Notes and Stories E Creating a Democratic Classroom: An Action Research Study

Travelers' Notes and Stories F Cyber-Portfolios: Motivating Our Students to Speak More

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