Thursday, October 7, 2010

What is Action Research?

            Action research is a process in which administrators take time to reflect on their own practices, pose questions, gather information and collect data, make changes and share their findings with others.  This method differs from traditional research processes in which an expert conducts research and the principal implements the expert’s suggestions and findings.  Action research engages the principal and puts him or her in charge of researching and making decisions about his or her campus. 
            There are several benefits to action research.  One of the benefits is the ability to engage in collaboration with teachers and other principals.  When principals conduct action research, they become role models for their students and teachers by demonstrating the importance of learning.  Action research can also help schools learn to use best practices. Principals must also slow down and reflect on their practices when they use action research.  This can help them become proactive instead of reactive. 
            I will be able to use action research to find answers to some of the questions I have about my school and what would work best for it.  As a special education teacher, action research would be a useful tool for learning about inclusion models and effects of mainstreaming students.  I also think that it would be useful in finding motivational strategies for students and faculty.  TAKS scores and strategies to improve the scores can also be researched.  I am excited about engaging in action research because the possibilities of its usefulness seem boundless. 

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