Cohort 27, EDLD 5301
What is administrative inquiry or action research? How does action research differ from traditional educational research?
Action research was a very new term for me. I wasn’t sure want it was all about (and was getting a bit stressed about doing an action research plan) until I participated in the web conference this past week. Dr. Mason did an excellent job at breaking it down during the conference and then after reading through the text from Dana, I feel more confident that it is something I can do.
To me action research is the process of searching for solutions to a specific school problem or searching for ways to improve what is already going on at the school. Through my conference and reading, I learned that it should be an intervention that can be applied in the school setting. It should be specific to a content area or a grade level, and it shouldn’t be too large that it will be overwhelming to the “researcher” or the audience it was intended for.
Action research differs from traditional research in that it is relevant to the person doing the research. Traditional research has others from “outside” the school/district telling us what needs to be done. The actual people involved, the teachers and students, often don’t have a say in the traditional research format. In action research, the “researcher” determines the problem (often by discussing it with colleagues) and then designs a plan to fix the problem that is pertinent to the school, teachers, and/or students involved. The action researcher does a lot of reflection on the problem and questions that come up once the plan is enacted. They collect and analyze data and review relevant literatures in order to make changes that are beneficial to his/her students and school.
Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher.