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A Short Guide to Action Research 4 th Edition

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A Short Guide to Action Research4th Edition

Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D.

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Chapter 3: Using Action Research for Solving Problems

Finding the Problem

1. Problems must first be identified

2. Define the problem – seek to understand the nature of the situation and understand causal factors

3. A problem is a difference between present state and desired state

Present state:

Desired state:

Problem Definer

The problem:

Restate the problem:

Finding Solutions

1. Two simple problem-solving strategies:

a. creative problem solving

b. means-end analysis

Thinking Frame for CPS

1. Define the problem.

2. Generate as many solutions as possible.

3. Choose a solution that seems the best.

4. Elaborate and refine.

5. Implement the solution.

6. Review, evaluate, and refine as necessary.

Thinking Frame for MEA

1. Describe the desired outcome.

2. Define the goals necessary to reach the end state.

3. Describe the current state.

4. Analyze the means necessary to get the desired outcome.

5. Construct and implement a plan.

6. Review, evaluate, and refine the plan.

2. Embed problem-solving into the curriculum -- problem-based learning

3. Teach students how to use CPS and MEA

4. To improve students’ problem-solving ability: (a) teach problem solving strategies and (b) provide practice solving problems.

5. The last part of problem solving - test the solution