Why Educators Should Do Research.Educators need to conduct research in order to make effective decisions about student learning and student achievement. In addition, teachers must be reflective about their practice in order to make appropriate changes and accommodations, especially for diverse student populations. Complete both parts of this assignment:
Read the following articles about being a reflective practitioner:
Using information you gathered from the articles, provide an analysis of the following questions: What does it mean to be a reflective practitioner? Why should teachers be reflective? How would you describe yourself in regard to being a reflective practitioner?
Provide an evaluation of this question from Barth (as cited in the Phelps, 2008): “How much are you prepared to risk of what is familiar, comfortable, safe, and perhaps working well for you, in the name of better education for others?” Reflect on current practices and how you can be a reflective change agent. Think about the following questions: How will you use research to improve your practice in order to facilitate student achievement? What two areas of practice in your educational environment do you think need researching and why?
You must include one scholarly resource in addition to the required articles. The paper must be cited in proper APA formatting and must be three to four pages in length, in addition to the title and reference pages.
Instructional Problem/Research Question. The most difficult part of a research project is generating the research question. Think about your vision statement as well as your capacity and potential as a teacher-leader/teacher-researcher. Use these current understandings about yourself to think about how you want to improve your teaching, classroom, and/or school/work setting.
According to Moss and Noden (1994), classroom teachers who decide to investigate questions that they have generated about teaching and learning engage in action research when they raise questions about their practices, test out assumptions, and evaluate the results. Action research gives educators an opportunity to reflect, make connections, and better understand what they are doing.
For this assignment, you will develop your own research question for a topic in your MAED specialization. (This will be a part of your Final Project.) You will decide on what you would like to focus on in order to change instruction and/or improve learning in your classroom. Your research must address diverse learning environments.
The following activities will support you in generating a research question:
In your written assignment:
What Is Action Research? Read the following articles about action research:
a. b. c. d.
In this a.
b. c. d.
“Action Research Fosters Empowerment and Learning Committees”
Themes in Education: Action Research
“Supporting Technology Integration Through Action Research”
“Practical Strategies for Facilitating Classroom Teachers’Involvement in Action Research”
discussion forum, answer the following questions:
What is your definition and/or understanding of action research? What are the benefits of and barriers to action research?
Do you see the value of conducting classroom-based inquiries? What are three questions you have about action research?
What Does Action Research Look Like?Complete both parts of this prompt,
Part One: The studies listed below provide examples of various action research designs and projects. Read at least one of these studies. Then, identify the research question, the participants, the data methods, and at least one implication/significant finding.
Part Two: Find an example of an action research project pertaining to your MAED specialization using a database from the Ashford University Library (e.g., EBSCOhost, ERIC) or Google Scholar. Identify the research question, the participants, the data methods, and at least one implication. You can use this article for your“Critical Reviews of Literature” assignment in Week Three.
Personal Reflection. Reflect on one of the following three sentence starters:
Critical Reviews of Literature. By researching the current literature, you will have a better understanding of your context of the question or problem you are considering. A literature review is a critical, in- depth evaluation and summary of previous and current research. It establishes why you are pursuing a particular research study and validates your wanting to do so. You are evaluating the quality and findings of studies in a way that supports your own research. As such, you want to be critical of the credibility of the sources.
Create an annotated bibliography of five research articles from peer-reviewed or scholarly sources about empirical studies that relate to your topic as defined in Week Two. You will be able to use this assignment to write a literature review for your Final Projectt. Provide an examination of each article for its relevance to your study. You must include a clear connection between how each article relates to your topic of study. Each article must have been published within the past five years. Your assignment should be two to five pages in length and must be in APA formatting.
Here is an example of a critical review: The Writer’s Handbook: Writing Book Reviews.
Assessment Tools. Read the article entitled, “Assessment in Work‐Based Learning:Investigating a Pedagogical Approach to Enhance Student Learning.” According to Brodie and Irving (2007):
As teachers […], we need to ensure that students will know:
In this discussion, reflect upon your experiences throughout your degree program with selecting assessment methods and designing assessment tools to evaluate learning. Explain how assessment can be used for both individual learner mastery and continuous quality improvement of the instruction. Offer your thoughts on how critical reflection is essential in the assessment process not only for the educator, but for learners as well. Be sure to support your assertions with references from the reading.X
Assessment Methods. Read the Hansen and Brody article entitled, “Solving Problems Through Action Research.” Specifically pay attention to the various data collection methods. Also think about how other action researchers have collected data. (See examples in Week Two, Discussion 2.)
Think about your instructional problem and your research question. In this discussion forum, propose and describe two to three specific assessment methods and/or instruments to further assess your instructional problem. You will critically reflect on your assessment and instrument choice(s) to justify why it fits your problem and explain how it will assess critical elements of your problem. Refer to the Brodie and Irving article to help you define categories for your critical reflection. (This can help you design the Data Methods section of your Final Project.)
Outline. Read the Tillotson article entitled, “Studying the Game: Action Research in Science Education.” Using this article as a model, outline your own action research study according to the author’sexplanations. Include the following sections:
Your outline must be two to four pages in length, include two scholarly resources in addition to the course text, and must be in proper APA formatting.
Patterns and Trends. Analyze and synthesize findings from your Week Three assignment, specifically the critical reviews of empirical studies relevant to your research question. Extract at least three patterns and/or trends from the five studies. What are some common findings? Explain how these patterns and/or trends inform your research and how they support learning outcomes for a diverse student population.
a. Educational Theories
In addition to the resources above, a Google search will also yield a great deal of information.
Learning Solutions. This assignment will help you with your Final Project. As a leader, you will be solving a variety of problems. Based on the research literature you reviewed, propose solutions to the instructional problem from each of the five perspectives within the context of a diverse community of learners:
a. Curriculum b. Instruction c. Evaluation d. Technology e. Policy
Identify which perspective most closely aligns with the research findings from your literature review and the knowledge base you have gained through your MAED degree program. Use examples to support your reasoning.
Leadership Principles. Read “Leadership Principles” and respond to the following:
For your Final Project, you will apply everything you learned in this course to create a research proposal. You can refine
your previous assignments accordingly. You will not be required to implement the research. The purpose is to set up a study for you to further develop at some later point in time.
Your proposal must have the following sections—please include the following headings:
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