How to Use Action Research in the Self-Renewing School

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Learning to inquire together, to generate knowledge and action simultaneously—that's action research. This book provides practical guidance for conducting schoolwide action research to improve student learning. Begin with a broad assessment of the health of the school or with the perception of a problem in one area, such as students' achievement in mathematics. As staff members—or parents or community members&#151what do you do? Calhoun presents the simple process of collective study in action. First, seek agreement with others in your school community on what to study. Second, collect and share information about students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Third, search your own experiences and examine educational research for strategies and programs that will improve your students' math understanding. Fourth, work together to improve curriculum and instruction in math. Fifth, collect data on results, study effects, and begin the cycle all over again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871202291
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.32 (d)


This book is about schoolwide action research; it reviews the who, what, why, when, where, and how of conducting schoolwide action research in the self-renewing school.

My primary purpose here is to help more school faculties have an opportunity to engage in schoolwide action research. My primary goals as a practitioner are to enhance the education of students and to develop healthier workplace norms for adults. Blending my purpose for communication with my primary goals, I offer this book to those who are seeking to make better choices in how we spend student and adult time and energy in our schools.

Throughout this book, I use the pronouns I and we and you in an attempt to diminish the distance between author and readers. I wish to convey the same sense of colleagueship that I experience when working with school faculties as they discover the potential of schoolwide action research in creating a healthier learning community. I also wish to remind you that I am sharing my experiences in schoolwide action research. Though I have studied the foundations of action research and its theoretical and research base, as well as school faculties engaging in this activity, many of my recommendations come from my experiences as a facilitator and student of the action research process.

I would like to extend special thanks to the sixty-one schools that compose the Georgia League of Professional Schools and the eleven Ames, Iowa, Community Schools whose faculties and school facilitator teams have allowed me the joy of learning and studying with them. I also thank both Carl Glickman and Bruce Joyce for their counsel and their willingness to help me reflect on and refine my ideas about school renewal through action research.

—Emily F. Calhoun

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