It’s hard to believe I have completed two courses on my way to my master’s already. Through participating in the discussion boards, talking with my site mentor, and viewing the weekly web conferences I have learned a great deal about action research and what I need to do to successfully implement an action research plan.
I wasn’t sure want action research was all about until I participated in the web conference this first week. Dr. Mason did an excellent job at breaking it down during the conference and then after reading through the text from Dana, I felt more confident about the entire process. 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.
Watching the videos in the second week of the educational leaders who have actually implemented research action plans in their schools or districts was very informative also. Dr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent, Pasadena ISD gave excellent advise in his video that I used when forming my wondering. He suggested that researchers need to make it practical to you. I also enjoyed Johnny Briseno, Principal, Ranch Isabella Elementary, Angleton ISD’s video. His suggestion to others doing action research is to read/research in your area of interest or on topics that are problems in your classroom or at your site. When he was describing his suggestion, it made me think of the old saying, “Why reinvent the wheel”. With the easy access to just about anything on the internet these days, it is easy to look up topics and find something regarding your idea or problem that may help you in your situation.
I was a bit frustrated in the middle of the course. I felt like that week we were repeating a lot of the work just in different ways. Putting my idea for an action research plan down on paper was very rewarding though. I got to organize all my thoughts and ideas of what I was going to do and share it with others for useful feedback to improve it. I feel I have a better understanding of what I have to do to make the plan progress and a timeline in which to get things accomplished.
The book, Leading With Passion and Knowledge: The principal as Action Researcher, assigned for this course was a great help during the formation of my action research project. Strategies to collect data and address the ongoing review process will be a big help as I proceed with my plan (and any future plans). I have a feeling I will be referring to it often throughout my plan.
This course was very rewarding in that I feel like I have accomplished a lot with the writing of my action research plan and am ready to implement it at my school in the next year.
Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher.
: Corwin Press. Thousand Oaks, CA