So, What’s the Problem? Session 1 Part 1 Literacy and School Success Action Research Minicourse, Phase III. Dr. Carol Gordon Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries [email protected] September 23, 2008 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Agenda.
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So, What’s the Problem?Session 1 Part 1Literacy and School SuccessAction Research Minicourse, Phase III
Dr. Carol Gordon
Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries
September 23, 2008
8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Objectives: At the end of this session participants
will be able to:
Part 1: What is Action Research?
Looking at a problem in our practice
Reading the research about the problem
Reflecting on the problem
Creating a plan to find solutions using action research methods
Action Research needs a Context
The Standards describe how learners use skills, resources, and tools to:
inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge;
draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge;
share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society;
pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
are thinking skills
Remembering: Recall or remember information, define, duplicate, list, memorize, recall, repeat, reproduce state
Understanding: Explain ideas or concepts, classify, describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, recognize, report, select, translate, paraphrase
Applying: Use the information in a new way, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.
Analysing: Distinguish between the different parts, appraise, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.
Evaluating: Justify a stand or decision, appraise, argue, defend, judge, select, support, value, evaluate
Creating: Create new product or point of view, assemble, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, write.
Library collection centered
Recreational reading (fiction)
Passive activities (Book Talks, Author visits, Displays
Broadening reading interests
Free Voluntary Reading
Reading for Understanding
Unmediated reading materials
Digital reading environments
Reading for learning; reading in content areas
Standards for 21st century learning
ISP & Strategic Reading
Action and Reflection
with their environment
The Purpose: To improve the transaction between student and teacher
“I am on the outside looking in.”
“The research is a portrait of ourselves.”
“My research is an invention created by me.”
“My research is a unique expression of my classroom story. In many ways, it has a life of its own.”
Wood, P. (1988, April). Action research: A field perspective. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.
You are an Investigative Reporter for
YTN (Youth Television Network). You
have been assigned the job of research-
ing and writing a news story about
holocaust survivals. Your arch rival,
Mat Fritzlinger, from YBC (Youth
Broadcasting Company) recently
made a public statement denying
events recorded in The Diary of
Anne Frank. According to him the
diary is a hoax. He, along with many
others, believe none of these events,
or any events like them have ever taken
place. Your job is to gather and publish
data that will persuade Mat and his
followers to seriously question their beliefs.
Literature, Technology and Reading
Authentic Learning Tasks
Generic Research Question: How can I do it better next time? and survey
Your Question: ????
Your Action Research Plan
Collecting the Evidence
Analyzing the Evidence
Sharing the Plan
Measurement: Likert Scale (Strongly agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly disagree
Examples of closed-ended questions
Examples of open-ended questions
Write your answers to the following questions. Try to establish why this problem bothers you and what you know about it.
Examples from Constructivism
Why is learning theory important?
What we know, or think we know, affects what we learn
Learning is enhanced when learners talk to each other
Learning is situational and not readily transferred to other situations
Use of Strategies:
Successful learning involves the use of numerous strategies
What is you timeline? (Start and finish dates)
With whom are you collaborating?
Describe your action plan.
Think about the best ways to collect evidence that will help you answer your question. Check off the collection method or methods that you think will give you the best evidence. Everyone will create a survey to collect evidence on the unit of inquiry or action research project they designed.
_____ How can I do it better next time? Survey
_____ 1. Interviews _____ 6. Surveys
_____ 2. Focus groups _____ 7. Observation/journaling
_____ 3. Student journals _____ 8. Rubrics/Checklists
_____ 4. Photographs _____ 9. Authentic learning tasks
_____ 5. Content analysis _____ 10. Student work
_____ 11. Case studies _____ 12. Shadow study
_____13. Correspondance _____ 14. Primary sources
_____15. Formative assessments _____ 16. Debriefings
How can I…
What problems do you see with the project?)
“It is not enough that teachers’ work should be studied;
they need to study it themselves.”
Even if you are on the right track,
you’ll jut get run over if you sit there.
If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process,
You don’t know what you’re doing”
W. Edwards Denning
because it involves overcoming the inertia that
inclines one to accept suggestions at their face value;
it involves willingness to endure a condition of mental
unrest and disturbance.
Reflective thinking … means judgment suspended during
further inquiry; and suspense is likely to be somewhat
To maintain the state of doubt and to carry on systematic
and protracted inquiry-these are the essentials of thinking.