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Using a metaphorical picture of self-reflection as an intriguing journey, Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road is written to serve as a problem solving tool for literacy educators. The authors begin by explaining the importance of action research as a critical phase of reflective practice. Detailed definitions of research stages are followed by concise ‘stepping stones” explaining in simple terms how to engage in each stage of action research. Five case studies of practicing literacy teachers scaffold the action research process and illustrate how to integrate it into everyday teaching practice. New to this edition is a case study done solely within an electronic teaching and learning environment.
Highlighting instructional self-improvement, this text assists teachers in becoming adept at using students and colleagues as resources in their action research journey. The book provides a clear and thorough set of directives for determining a research plan, organizing the research, developing evaluation tools, and synthesizing the resulting data. Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road is a linchpin in the instructional advancement of any reading professional.
SECTION I THE SCHOLAR'S JOURNEY
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
SECTION II DEFINING AND PUTTING ACTION RESEARCH IN CONTEXT
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
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
SECTION III EXPLORING RESEARCHER SELVES AND THE PROFESSION
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
SECTION IV DEVELOPING AN INQUIRING MIND
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?
SECTION V DESIGNING AND PLANNING AN ACTION RESEARCH STUDY
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?
SECTION VI ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING DATA
13. Exploring and Theorizing the Stories
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
SECTION VII WRITING AND SHARING THE RESEARCH STORY
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
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