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CHAPTER 8. Sharing and Reflecting. Craig A. Mertler SAGE Publications, 2012. Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators. Communicating the Results of Action Research.

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Sharing and Reflecting

Craig A. Mertler SAGE Publications, 2012

Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

  • Gap between research conducted in education and (supposed) end users of that research

  • Problem with ‘converting’ research into practically-applied results in classrooms, etc.

  • Often, too technical and do not fit with ‘daily needs’ of a classroom teacher

    • Do not factor in the practical challenges of applying research findings

  • The teacher-researcher—and action research— become the missing link…

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

However, simply conducting classroom-based action research is not enough

Results of action research must be shared (formally and informally)

Facilitates the actual ‘bridging of the divide’

Provides teachers with a voice; research becomes an integral part of the instructional process

The act of sharing results of action research is also a time to celebrate those findings and the process

Helps to create a rewarding, satisfying professional experience

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Sharing at the local level

Numerous possible audiences:


Professional discussions; may be very informal

Keep brief; use visual aids

Highlight main aspects of your study

District administration

Members of school board, superintendent, assistant superintendents, directors, building-level administrators

Can help avoid educational malpractice

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Sharing within action research communities

Action research community—professional learning community (PLC) made up of eductional professionals driven by a common goal of practicing reflective teaching to improve classroom instructional practice or other aspects of the educational process

Key to improved student learning is continuous, job-embedded learning for educators

Can be created within a building or district, or can include multiple districts (typically within small geographic area)

Ideal for lending encouragement and support

Can run the spectrum from informal to formal

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Key characteristics of a PLC focused on action research:

A shared mission, vision, values, and goals all focused on student learning;

A collaborative culture;

Collective inquiry into best practices and current reality;

An action orientation, or learning by doing;

A commitment to continuous improvement; and

An orientation focused on results, and not on intentions.

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Sharing at professional conferences

Opportunity to share results, experience among much broader community of educators

Additional dialogue, brainstorming, reflection

Great opportunities for networking

Conferences can be statewide, regional, or national

Process of submitting a proposal, acceptance of the proposal, and presentation at the conference…

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Sharing in academic journals

Refereed journals…

Potential to reach larger audiences


Familiarize yourself with journal you are submitting to

Use clear, reader-friendly writing style

‘Guide’ your readers through your study

Include summary of methods used

Find ways to keep your readers’ attention

Process of submitting a manuscript, blind review, acceptance of the manuscript, and publishing the article…

Communicating the Results ofAction Research

Sharing in electronic formats

Many opportunities for electronic dissemination exist

Especially online formats

Action research Web sites

Electronic mailing lists

Electronic journals

Must be careful of quality of materials appearing on the Internet

Many school districts have developed their own action research sites for dissemination of work from their educators

Reflecting on the Results ofAction Research

Reflection (once again!)

Sharing, communicating, disseminating are yet another means of engaging in reflection on the action research process

Opportunity to review what you’ve done and learned

Another chance to introspectively examine your own educational practice

Seize every opportunity to engage in reflective practice… critical to professional growth

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