A Short Guide to Action Research / Edition 4

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Overview

A Short Guide to Action Research, Fourth Edition

Andrew P. Johnson

This user-friendly text provides students with everything a pre-service or in-service teacher needs to know to conduct an action research project in a clear, step-by-step presentation.

A Short Guide in Action Research, Fourth Edition, guides the learner through both qualitative and quantitative techniques in educational research methods and then describes all phases of the process, including selecting a topic; collecting, analyzing, and reporting data; reviewing the literature; and presenting the report. Data collection techniques reflecting popular authentic assessments and real-life examples enliven concepts throughout the text. Step-by-step directions for using action research to complete a Master’s Thesis are included.

Features of This Text

  • Field Experience examples for both professor and student are expanded. These easy-to-access examples incorporate real-world experience into the classroom setting.
  • Action research questions to use as ideas for projects are included at the end of each chapter in the book.
  • NEW! Website www.AR-Johnson.com features video mini-lectures for each chapter; examples of action research projects, literature reviews, action research proposals, and Masters theses; guidelines, additional information and video tutorials related to academic writing; a variety of downloadable forms, checklists, and data retrieval charts; links to professional development resources and expanded chapter content.
  • Chapter 5 contains new information related to writing a literature review. Included here are step-by-step instructions that take you through all phases of action research including finding sources, note-taking, organization, drafting, using citations, and creating the reference page.
  • Chapter 6 contains a variety of new data collection techniques including conducting email interviews, conducting online surveys, and using online platforms.
  • Chapter 9: Evaluating, Describing, and Proposing Research is new to this edition. Included here are: (a) a general overview related to the use and misuse of research in education, (b) a description of the principles and definition of scientifically based research, (c) specific guidelines for evaluation of quantitative and qualitative research, (d) a description of an annotated bibliography, and (e) a description of a research proposal. Two sample action research proposals are also included here.
  • Tips for reporting quantitative and qualitative data are revised and contained in one chapter (Chapter 10).
  • In this edition, all sample action research projects are found in the Appendix. New sample action research projects are included.

Here’s what your colleagues have to say about this book:

“This book is excellent. The author manages to explain action research and how to do it without frightening the novice researcher away from what can be a very full-filling and informative endeavor.”

–Sandra Luna McCune, Stephen F. Austin State University

A Short Guide to Action Research provides a concise, thorough picture of action research. It successfully mixes theory and practical information in covering the topics related to action research.”

–Carole Milner, Minnesota State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132685863
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 299,678
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Andrew Johnson is Professor of Holistic Education and the Director of the Accelerated Teacher Licensure Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Here he specializes in educational psychology, holistic education, literacy instruction, and teacher professional development.

Before moving into higher education he worked for 9 years in the public schools as a second grade teacher, wrestling coach, and as a gifted education coordinator. His most recent books include Making Connections in Elementary and Middle School Social Studies (SAGE) and Teaching Reading and Writing: A Guidebook for Tutoring and Remediating Students (Rowman and Littlefield).

Dr. Johnson can be reached for comment at: andrew.johnson@mnsu.edu. For information related to workshops and professional development opportunities go to: www.OPDT-Johonson.com.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. SCIENCE, RESEARCH, AND TEACHING

I. Science, Research, and Teaching

II. Science

1. Science and Pseudoscience

II. Research

1. Quantitative Research

2. Qualitative Research

3. Quantitative or Qualitative?

III. TEACHING

1. What Scientists and Teachers Do

IV. Using Research in Education: Theories, Hypotheses, and Paradigms, Oh My!

1. Theories and Hypotheses

2. Paradigms

3. Better Decision Makers

Chapter 2. INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH

I. Research in Action

1. A Quick Overview of Action Research

2. Descriptors of Action Research

II. The Importance of Action Research

1. The Gap between Theory and Practice

2. Teacher Empowerment

3. Teacher Inservice and Professional Growth

Chapter 3. USING ACTION RESEARCH FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS

I. FINDING THE PROBLEM

II. FINDING SOLUTIONS

1. Creative Problem Solving

2. Means—End Analysis

3. Problem-Solving Strategies in the Classroom

4. Testing the Solution

III. AN EXAMPLE OF ACTION RESEARCH AND PROBLEM SOLVING

1. Finding the Problem

2. Finding a Solution

3. Testing the Solution

IV. PROBLEM SOLVING AND INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT

Chapter 4. THE BEGINNING

I. AN OVERVIEW OF THE ACTION RESEARCH PROCESS

1. Action Research Steps

II. FINDING YOUR RESEARCH TOPIC

1. A Teaching Strategy

2. Identify a Problem

3. Examine an Area of Interest

III. STILL HAVING TROUBLE STARTING?

Chapter 5. REVIEWING THE LITERATURE

I. REVIEWING THE LITERATURE

II. SOURCES FOR THE LITERATURE REVIEW

1. Academic Journals

2. Books

3. The Internet

4. How Many Sources?

III. STEPS FOR A LITERATURE REVIEW

IV. CITATIONS

V. THE REFERENCE PAGE

1. Journals

2. Books

VI. A SAMPLE LITERATURE REVIEW

1. Literature Review at the Beginning

2. A Literature Review at the End

Chapter 6. METHODS OF COLLECTING DATA

I. DATA COLLECTION

1. Systematic

2. Data Collection and Soil Samples

3. A Television Sports Analyst

II. TYPES OF DATA COLLECTION IN ACTION RESEARCH

1. Log or Research Journal

2. Field Notes–Your Observations

3. Checklists

4. Rating Checklist

5. Rubrics

6. Conferences and Interviews

7. Data Retrieval Charts

8. Maps

9. Artifacts: Students’ Products or Performances

10. The Arts

11. Archival Data

12. Surveys

13. Attitude and Rating Scales

14. Online Surveys and Rating Scales

15. Online Platforms and Class Journals

Chapter 7. METHODS OF ANALYZING DATA

I. ACCURACY AND CREDIBILITY: THIS IS WHAT IS

II. VALIDITY, RELIABILITY, AND TRIANGULATION

1. Validity

2. Triangulation

3. Reliability

III. INDUCTIVE ANALYSIS

1. Larry, Moe, and Curly Help with Inductive Analysis

2. Case Studies or Representative Samples

3. Vision Quest

4. Defining and Describing Categories

5. The Next Month

Chapter 8. QUANTITATIVE DESIGN IN ACTION RESEARCH

I. CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH

1. Correlation Coefficient

2. Misusing Correlational Research

3. Negative Correlation

4. Making Predictions

II. CAUSAL—COMPARATIVE RESEARCH

1. Whole Language in California

II. QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

1. Quasi-Action Research

2. Pretest—Posttest Design

3. Pretest—Posttest Control Group Design

4. Time Series Design

5. Time Series Control Group Design

6. Equivalent Time-Sample Design

III. THE FUNCTION OF STATISTICS

1. Descriptive Statistics

IV. INFERENTIAL STATISTICS

Chapter 9. EVALUATING, DESCRIBING, AND PROPOSING RESEARCH

I. EVALUATING RESEARCH

1. Buyer Beware

2. Scientifically Based Research

II. EVALUATING QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

1. Independent and Dependent Variables

2. Confounding Variables

3. Common Confounding Variables

III. EVALUATING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

IV. DESCRIBING RESEARCH

1. Examples of Research Descriptions

V. AN ACTION RESEARCH PROPOSAL

1. Annie Oftedahl, Northfield, Minnesota

2. Ann Schmitz, Garden City Minnesota, Mankato District 77 Early Childhood Special Education

Chapter 10. REPORTING FINDINGS IN ACTION RESEARCH

I. REPORTING QUALITATIVE DATA

1. Tips for Presenting Qualitative Data

II. THE IMPORTANCE OF STRUCTURE

1. Structure and Inductive Analysis

2. Using Headings to Create Structure

3. Using Subheadings to Create More Structure

III. CASE STUDIES OR REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES

1. It’s Alive!

IV. APPENDICES

V. REPORTING QUANTITATIVE DATA

1. Using Numbers

2. Using Words

3. Reporting Arithmetic Data

VI. TABLES

VII. FIGURES

1. Graphs

2. Other Visuals

Chapter 11. DISCUSSION: YOUR PLAN OF ACTION

I. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Christina Stolfa, Nacogdoches, Texas

2. Jo Henriksen, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

3. Cathy Stamps, Fifth Grade, Hopkins Elementary School

4. Delinda Whitley, Mt. Enterprise, Texas

5. Darlene Cempa, Whitney Point, NY

II. IMPLICATIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

1. Morgan Chylinski, Jamesville, NY

2. Karen Randle, Trumansburg, New York

III. EVALUATION OF THE STUDY

1. Jim Vavreck, St. Peter, Minnesota

2. Staci Wilson, Irving, Texas

IV. DESIGNING A NEW PLAN OR PROGRAM

1. Creating a New Plan or Program

2. A Less Formal Plan of Action

Chapter 12. WRITING AN ACTION RESEARCH REPORT

I. TONE AND STYLE

1. Avoid Value Statements

2. Extremely Objective

II. PRECISION AND CLARITY

1. Writing and Speech

2. Avoid Speech-isms

3. Avoid Non-Words

4. Use Adverbs with Caution

IV. REDUCING BIAS

1. Person-First Language

2. Exceptionalities

3. Gender

4. Sexual Orientation

5. LGBT and Transgender

6. Race and Ethnicity

V. LENGTH

VI. CLARITY

VII. HEADINGS

VIII. THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF STYLE

1. The Basics of Grammar

2. The Basics of Punctuation: Commas, Semi-Colons, and Colons.

Chapter 13. PRESENTING YOUR ACTION RESEARCH

I. THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

1. Your Colleagues

2. Your Students

3. School Boards, Principals, and Administrators: Making a Case

4. Your Classroom: Evaluating New Programs

5. Parent Conferences

6. As Part of a Master’s Thesis

II. THE PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT

1. Professional Conferences and Conventions

2. Academic Journals

3. ERIC

III. LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

IV. MAKING EFFECTIVE PRESENTATIONS

1. Planning the Presentation

2. General Platform Skills

3. PowerPoint Specifics

4. Effective Handouts

5. Online Video Presentations

Chapter 14. ACTION RESEARCH AS MASTER’S THESIS

I. BEFORE YOU START

1. Nine Tips for Writing Your Master’s Thesis

Tina Williams

Christine Reed, Educational Specialist Degree, Nerstrand Elementary School, 6. Nerstrand, Minnesota

Jackie Royer, Master’s Thesis, Trimont Schools, Trimont, Minnesota

Darlene Cempa, Whitney Point, NY

Karen Randle, Trumansburg, New York

Morgan Chylinski, Jamesville, NY

Chapter 15. STRATEGIES FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

I. ACTION RESEARCH AND THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS

1. More Knowledge Please

2. Process and Empowerment

3. Online Professional Development

4. Other Professional Development Opportunities

II. OBSERVING YOUR OWN PRACTICE

1. Best Practice

2. Audiotaping Lessons

3. Descriptive, Not Prescriptive

APPENDIX - SAMPLE ACTION RESEARCH PROJECTS

1. Alison Reynolds, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2. Kay Dicke, Eden Prairie

3. LouAnn Strachota

4. Georgina L. Pete

5. Teresa Van Batavia, Eisenhower Elementary, Hopkins, Minnesota

6. Linda Roth, St. Peter School District, St. Peter, Minnesota

7. Angela Hassett Brunelle Getty, Martinez, California

8. Michelle Bahr, Shakopee, Minnesota

9. Kim Schafer, Minnetonka, Minnesota

10. Barbara King, Prairie Elementary School, Worthington MN.

11. Annette Tousignant

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