Action Research – What is it?
Collaborative Action Research is a process in which participants systematically examine their own educational practice using the techniques of research, for the purpose of increasing learning of students, their teachers, and other interested parties.
(Caro-Bruce. (2000). Action Researcher: Facilitators Handbook, National Council of Staff Development).
Classroom teachers first determine and refine an action research question, based in educational theory, that is related to how systems thinking strategies would affect students reaching curricular goals. The question provides a focus for the teachers as they describe the desired student learning, the assessment plan to determine whether or not students achieve that learning, and the instructional use of systems thinking strategies.
Teachers then collect and analyze data on student performance levels before and after the use of particular systems thinking strategies as part of instruction. Through this analysis, they go back to the original question and draw conclusions, based on noted patterns.
Some teachers participate in the action research process in subsequent years to further refine their methodologies and add to the body of results.
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