Improving Schools Through Acton Research: A Reflective Practice Approach / Edition 3

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Cher Hendricks’ Action Research for School Improvement: A Reflective Practice Approach, Third Edition ,

is a brief, accessible, and practical text that prepares educators to conduct their own action research projects. The third edition provides the information needed to complete each step of the action research cycle. Chapter activities include a research paper component that helps readers create a research paper as they complete the activities. Additional activities have been added in this edition to help educators navigate through each step of the action research process—from choosing a topic and generating research questions through data analysis and reporting results and conclusions. Other features of the book include detailed strategies for (1) reviewing and synthesizing the literature and writing a literature review, (2) collecting, triangulating, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data (including how to graphically display results), (3) drawing conclusions from results, and (4) writing in APA (6th edition) style. Numerous Internet resources—including links to action research networks, professional organizations, and journals—are provided. Throughout the text, the book incorporates numerous pedagogical devices such as Exercises and Cases to help readers practically explore topics. Examples are provided throughout the book to document the ways teachers, principals, counselors, administrators, and support staff can improve their practice through action research.

Among the changes and additions to the third edition, the text now presents a sharper focus on reflection in the action research cycle--including new reflection activities in every chapter. The book also places a greater emphasis on working with a critical friend or colleague throughout the action research process and incorporates updated and new online and professional resources as well as a more detailed explanation of how to analyze and interpret qualitative data, and instructions on formatting the research paper using the latest APA Guidelines.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132868648
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/7/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 62,685
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cher Hendricks is a research scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in the Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computing (CEISMC). The focus of her work is on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research at the K-12 and post-secondary levels. Prior to her work with Georgia Tech, Cher was an associate professor of educational research and worked with masters, specialist, and doctoral students facilitating their action research projects. Prior to that, she was a teacher of students with disabilities in both inner city Houston and on a barrier island in South Carolina.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Research Methods in Education 1

Ways Research Advances Knowledge About Education 2

Quantitative Research 2

Qualitative Research 3

Action Research 3

Activity 1.1 Comparison of Articles on Cooperative Learning 7

The Origin of Action Research 7

The Action Research Process 10

Types of Action Research 11

The Importance of Action Research for Improving Schools 13

Becoming Familiar with the Language and Process of Action Research 16

Activity 1.2 Reading Action Research Studies 16

Summary 77

Additional Reading Materials 17

Action Research Resources 18

Chapter 2 Generating Research Ideas Through Reflection 26

The History of Reflection in Education 28

Reflection in Action Research 29

Activity 2.1 Engaging in Reflexive Inquiry as a Way to Know Yourself as an Educator 32

Reflecting to Identify a Research Focus 33

Reflective Journals 36

Reflecting with a Critical Friend 38

Activity 2.2 Reflecting to Identify a Research Focus 39

Summary 41

Chapter 3 Connecting Theory and Action: Reviewing the Literature 42

Reviewing Literature as a Professional, Intellectual Activity 43

Sources of Topic-Specific Literature 45

Searching for Literature to Review 47


ProQuest 50

EBSCOhost 52

Documents Not Available Full-Text 53

Choosing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing Reviewed Literature for Action Research Studies 53

Choosing Literature 54

Evaluating Literature 55

Synthesizing Literature 56

Organizing and Writing the Literature Review 57

Activity 3.1 Reviewing the Literature 62

Summary 64

Chapter 4 Initial Planning of the Action Research Study 69

Articulating Research Questions 70

Activity 4.1 Articulating Research Questions 74

Planning the Intervention 75

Participants 77

Collaboration 78

Ethical Guidelines for Action Research Studies 81

Activity 4.2 Planning the Intervention 82

Activity 4.3 Gaining Informed Consent 87

Summary 87

Chapter 5 Strategies for Collecting Data 88

Collecting Multiple Forms of Data to Establish Credibility and Validity 89

Methods of Data Collection: Artifacts, Observational Data, and Inquiry Data 90

Artifacts 91

Observational Data 100

Inquiry Data 109

The Importance of Collecting Baseline Data 119

Aligning Data Collection Strategies with Research Questions 120

Activity 5.1 Choosing Data Collection Strategies 121

Summary 122

Chapter 6 Final Planning Before Implementation of the Study 123

Definitions of Validity 124

Determining Ways to Increase Validity 125

Activity 6.1 Creating a Plan for Increasing Validity 131

Engaging in Continuous, Ongoing Reflective Planning Throughout the Study 131

Creating a Timeline for the Project 133

Activity 6.2 Ongoing Reflective Planning and Creating a Timeline 135

Summary 135

Chapter 7 Strategies for Data Analysis 137

Interim Data Analysis 137

Using Software Packages to Analyze Large Amounts of Data 139

Analysis of Quantitative Data: Reporting, Comparing, and Displaying 140

Tests 141

Closed-Ended Items 144

Checklists and Tally Sheets 147

Computer-Generated Reports and School Records 150

Analysis of Qualitative Data: Looking for Themes and Patterns 153

Activity 7.1 Analysis of Quantitative Data 154

Interviews, Focus Groups, and Conferences 156

Observational Records and Field Notes 160

Documents and Journals 160

Open-Ended Items (Surveys, Scales, Self-Assessments, Peer Reviews) 163

Activity 7.2 Analysis of Qualitative Data 167

Triangulating Data Sources and Drawing Conclusions from Data 168

Activity 7.3 Answering Research Questions and Reaching Conclusions 170

Summary 171

Chapter 8 Writing and Disseminating the Action Research Report 173

Guidelines for Writing the Final Action Research Report 174

Paper Format 174

Content Format 177

Disseminating Action Research Findings 179

Other Ways to Write Up Research 184

Concluding Comments 185

References 186

Index 191

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