Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reflecting on the past five weeks

     When I first saw the name of class, I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive as to what the class was going to be about. However, after finishing up our final week, I have been extremely pleased with the entire process of the class and concepts that we learned about action research. When I heard the term action research, I can honestly say that I had no clue as to what it was, but after these last five weeks, I have a much better understanding of the term and how to implement this research. Originally, I thought of the term “research,” as just your average book or web based search for information on a topic. Although most probably know of research in this manner, I have learned that there is so much more to this term.
     I began to gain knowledge through the video lectures on a weekly basis. From week to week, the video lectures would put me at ease, because the professors seemed to know what our concerns were from the week prior and issues/road blocks that they knew we would run into. Being able to hear them talk about these concerns and letting us know that they understand and provide suggestions on how to help us was extremely helpful. Not only were the videos supportive, but I found that the text Leading with Passion and Knowledge was beneficial for this course and my learning as well.

     Action research is a wonderful way for educators to address troubles or areas of concerns and find solutions to them. In the text, Leading with Passion and Knowledge the author states, “Learning must be something teachers and students do, not something others do to or for them.” Dana, NF( 2009). Leading with Passion and Knowledge. Pg 12, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.  This states the importance of everyone working together to better one another for our district, school, students, community and even ourselves, It is up to us as educators to begin this effort, not waiting on someone else to take a stance. With action research, we have the key to solving the issues and improving what we know is best. Being given the opportunity to develop an action research plan and being provided the steps to make it a strong, well developed project was beneficial to me. Often times as an administrator, you can get caught up in so much on daily basis that you could possibly forget why you entered the field to begin with due the demands of the job. As stated in, Leading with Passion and Knowledge, “historically, principals have not had access to tools that can help them untangle the complexity of their work as administrators and bring the focus of their work back to their leadership in teaching and learning.” Dana, NF( 2009). Leading with Passion and Knowledge. Pg 2, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.  By learning and developing an understanding of action research, I now have a tool that I can use as an administrator to help solve issues and concerns brought upon my school through a “very complex, rewarding, and transformative, provocative and productive process!” Dana, NF( 2009). Leading with Passion and Knowledge. Pg 12, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. 

     I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with my peers and other students in this class through the discussion boards and blogs.  This was a great resource and on hand tool for much needed guidance and support.  I appreciate the amount of knowledge I have learned through this course and look forward to continuing my understanding and development of action research throughout my educational career and graduate courses.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Action Research - CARE model

One area that I found to be extremely helpful this week and something to highly consider when dealing with my action research plan was the CARE model. I thought I would post it, as a reminder to me as what I need to consider for future planning with my action research.  

Identify Concerns that must change (look to the future)
(Assign points to concerns from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1.    Teachers have to be on board and willing to think outside the box when developing their lessons with “BYOT.”
2.    Students have to understand that the use of bringing your own technology is for educational purposes, not for leisure of looking up what they want, texting and social media networks.
3.    Bringing your own technology has to be effective in the classroom in order for student learning to occur.
Identify Affirmations that must be sustained (look to the present)
(Assign points to affirmations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important issues to consider.)
1.    We have to continue to hold a positive attitude about the new policy of “BYOT” as it is not going away.
2.    We need our administration to provide suggestions and feedback in any way they can to help with “BYOT.”
3.    We need to offer out ideas and best practices for others to begin to feel comfortable with the change.
SMART Recommendations that must be implemented:
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely)
(Assign points to recommendations from 1 to 3 in the order of the most important recommendations to implement.)
1.    Need to be able to graph the effectiveness of “BYOT” so far this school year.
2.    Set up brown bag sessions for teachers to share ideas and lessons that work best for them.
3.    Provide as much support and guidance to the teachers and staff in order to keep them motivated.
EVALUATE – Specifically and Often
(Identify the best ways to evaluate the implemented recommendations.)
1.    Share data with the teachers so everyone can see the effect.
2.    Survey teachers to find out what additional resources they feel are needed in order for “BYOT” to be effective for the students.
3.    Conduct small group conferences with teachers each month to see if things have improved or what their worries are at the moment.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Action Research Plan - Template Form

Microsoft Word - Action Research Plan Outline _template Form