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Chapter 1. What Is Action Research?

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❶Moreover, typographical and surface errors show that students do not seem to edit their own work.

Three Purposes for Action Research

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The Action Research Process
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The first step in the action research process is regarding the diagnosing of the organizational issue. In this step, the actual problem is identified to promote the start of the action research. The Bittner Team has already diagnosed that there is a motivation issue with the employees. Action planning is the second step that constitutes alternative paths of action.

The Bittner Team has spent many weeks trying to create a list of different ways they could improve employee outlook. After many employee interviews, they have found that a shorter or more flexible work week is wanted by the workers. The third step is taking action , where a specific alternative is selected to solve the issue. Bittner has read studies with other technology companies that have had success with employee motivation and productivity through adopting a shorter workweek.

He believes this is worth a try. Evaluating is the next step, where the action results are studied to see the overall impact.

The Bittner Team held a company-wide presentation to explain when and how the new workweek would be implemented. Starting in one month, all employees would need to be at work 7am to 7pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The employees would have a four-day weekend! The employees were excited to try this new plan and so was Bittner. The last step in the action research process is specifying learning , where learning and results can be used to help future issues within the organization. After a three-month trial period of the new shorter workweek, the company deemed the plan a success. Employees were active in formulating any changes, such as working remotely if needed on one other day, and productivity and motivation were at an all-time high.

Bittner himself felt relaxed and had a new sense of excitement for his work. Bittner's action research had six key principles that helped provide the key to the success of the plan. There are six key principles of action research , which consists of:. Reflexive critique is the need to take consideration of evidence-based information, such as reports and documents, and also reflective comments and observations made in a work setting to determine the actual situation.

The Bittner Team spent an enormous amount of time interviewing the employees before making an alternative consideration. He spent time observing, listening and reporting on the work day.

Dialectical critique is when two sides to an issue exist. The individuals are given time to promote their reasoning for the answer they believe is best. Usually, outsiders or group consensus will make the determination of what the answer will be for the company. The Bittner Team did have some serious opposition to their idea of the shorter workweek.

They held open meetings for all managers to give ideas and help overcome any objections to the new schedule. The third key principle of action research is the idea of collaborative research. In this manner, all participants in the research have equally important views. This ensures a collaborative method of conducting research and determining solutions. The Bittner Team allowed all employees to offer feedback from the initial idea to the final outcome of the schedule.

Certain elements of the shorter workweek underwent changes due to the feedback of the personnel. Get access risk-free for 30 days, just create an account. The fourth principle is concerned with risk and how individuals are afraid to give their opinions, thoughts and suggestions to affect any organizational change.

The researcher's job is to ensure that risk is minimized within the organization if an employee gives their most internal thoughts and ideas, no matter how extreme or different. The Bittner Team asked for all levels of employees to email them with their suggestions.

They asked for ways to brainstorm to make the transition easier. One of the newest employees came up with a ride sharing plan to cut down on transportation costs for the employees. Another employee offered a cafeteria lunch delivery plan so that employees could work at their desk during the three days they were in the office.

Plural structure is the next principle of action research and deals with understanding that, due to collaborative effort, numerous different views and ideas will develop.

The ability to consider each of them and try and validate before accepting as the truth is important. The Bittner Team tried to implement as many suggestions from the employees as possible. Some were not so successful, such as the employee who suggested sleepover parties to make commutes easy during the three-day workweek.

The last principle is theory, practice and transformation and is concerned with how employees' actions are based on assumptions and theories. Constant observation is needed to help understand actions and let the correct change occur. Bittner realizes that the new three-day workweek will need to be continually studied. The best solution now might not be the best solution for the long term. There are six key principles of action research , which consist of:. Collaborative research is where all participants in the research have equally important views.

Risk is how individuals are afraid to give their opinions, thoughts and suggestions to affect any organizational change. Plural structure is the next principle of action research and deals with understanding that due to collaborative effort, numerous different views and ideas will develop. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.

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I am a student I am a teacher. What teachers are saying about Study. What Is Organizational Development? Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds. Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? Third-Party Interventions in Organizations. Organizational Change at General Motors. How Companies Become Learning Organizations. Factors that Cause Change in Organizations: What Is Sensitivity Training for Managers?

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model of Management. Lewin's 3-Stage Model of Change: Applying Kotter's 8-Step Change Model. Organizational Culture and Change. Action Research in Education: What Is Organizational Change? Types of Internal Organizational Change: Structural, Strategic, People, and Process. Strategic Human Resource Planning: What Is Strategic Change Management? How to Positively Influence Others in the Workplace. Leading Change for Front-Line Managers. Measuring the Effectiveness of Learning Initiatives.

Developing Interpersonal Communication Skills for Work. Workplace Communications with Computers. Effective Communication in the Workplace: Communication Skills for Pharmacists. Action research, also known as participatory research, is learning by doing in the sense that a group of workers identify a problem, develop a resolution, implement the solution and then analyze the final results.

The Process The first step in the action research process is regarding the diagnosing of the organizational issue. Principles Bittner's action research had six key principles that helped provide the key to the success of the plan. There are six key principles of action research , which consists of: Reflexive Critique Dialectical Critique Collaborative Research Risk Plural Structure Theory, Practice and Transformation Reflexive critique is the need to take consideration of evidence-based information, such as reports and documents, and also reflective comments and observations made in a work setting to determine the actual situation.

What is the story told by these data? Why did the story play itself out this way? By answering these two questions, the teacher researcher can acquire a better understanding of the phenomenon under investigation and as a result can end up producing grounded theory regarding what might be done to improve the situation.

It is often said that teaching is a lonely endeavor. It is doubly sad that so many teachers are left alone in their classrooms to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis.

The loneliness of teaching is unfortunate not only because of its inefficiency, but also because when dealing with complex problems the wisdom of several minds is inevitably better than one.

The sad history of teacher isolation may explain why the very act of reporting on their action research has proven so powerful for both the researchers and their colleagues. The reporting of action research most often occurs in informal settings that are far less intimidating than the venues where scholarly research has traditionally been shared.

Faculty meetings, brown bag lunch seminars, and teacher conferences are among the most common venues for sharing action research with peers. However, each year more and more teacher researchers are writing up their work for publication or to help fulfill requirements in graduate programs. Regardless of which venue or technique educators select for reporting on research, the simple knowledge that they are making a contribution to a collective knowledge base regarding teaching and learning frequently proves to be among the most rewarding aspects of this work.

When teachers write lesson plans or develop academic programs, they are engaged in the action planning process. What makes action planning particularly satisfying for the teacher researcher is that with each piece of data uncovered about teaching or student learning the educator will feel greater confidence in the wisdom of the next steps.

Although all teaching can be classified as trial and error, action researchers find that the research process liberates them from continuously repeating their past mistakes. More important, with each refinement of practice, action researchers gain valid and reliable data on their developing virtuosity.

As stated earlier, action research can be engaged in by an individual teacher, a collaborative group of colleagues sharing a common concern, or an entire school faculty. These three different approaches to organizing for research serve three compatible, yet distinct, purposes: Building the reflective practitioner Making progress on schoolwide priorities Building professional cultures.

When individual teachers make a personal commitment to systematically collect data on their work, they are embarking on a process that will foster continuous growth and development. When each lesson is looked on as an empirical investigation into factors affecting teaching and learning and when reflections on the findings from each day's work inform the next day's instruction, teachers can't help but develop greater mastery of the art and science of teaching.

In this way, the individual teachers conducting action research are making continuous progress in developing their strengths as reflective practitioners. Increasingly, schools are focusing on strengthening themselves and their programs through the development of common focuses and a strong sense of esprit de corps. Often an entire faculty will share a commitment to student development, yet the group finds itself unable to adopt a single common focus for action research.

This should not be viewed as indicative of a problem. Schools whose faculties cannot agree on a single research focus can still use action research as a tool to help transform themselves into a learning organization.

They accomplish this in the same manner as do the physicians at the medical center. It is common practice in a quality medical center for physicians to engage in independent, even idiosyncratic, research agendas. However, it is also common for medical researchers to share the findings obtained from their research with colleagues even those engaged in other specialties. If ever there were a time and a strategy that were right for each other, the time is now and the strategy is action research!

This is true for a host of reasons, with none more important than the need to accomplish the following: Enhance the motivation and efficacy of a weary faculty. Meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. Teaching in North America has evolved in a manner that makes it more like blue-collar work than a professional undertaking.

Although blue-collar workers are expected to do their jobs with vigilance and vigor, it is also assumed that their tasks will be routine, straightforward, and, therefore, easily handled by an isolated worker with only the occasional support of a supervisor. Professional work, on the other hand, is expected to be complex and nonroutine, and will generally require collaboration among practitioners to produce satisfactory results.

With the exploding knowledge base on teaching and learning and the heightened demands on teachers to help all children achieve mastery of meaningful objectives, the inadequacy of the blue-collar model for teaching is becoming much clearer. When the teachers in a school begin conducting action research, their workplace begins to take on more of the flavor of the workplaces of other professionals.

The wisdom that informs practice starts coming from those doing the work, not from supervisors who oftentimes are less in touch with and less sensitive to the issues of teaching and learning than the teachers doing the work. Furthermore, when teachers begin engaging their colleagues in discussions of classroom issues, the multiple perspectives that emerge and thus frame the dialogue tend to produce wiser professional decisions.

The work of teaching has always been difficult. But now it isn't just the demands of the classroom that are wearing teachers down. Students increasingly bring more problems into the classroom; parental and societal expectations keep increasing; and financial cutbacks make it clear that today's teachers are being asked to do more with less. Worse still, the respect that society had traditionally placed upon public school teachers is eroding, as teacher bashing and attacks on the very value of a public education are becoming a regular part of the political landscape.

Consequently, teacher burnout has become the plague of the modern schoolhouse. However, without credible evidence that the work of teaching is making a difference, it is hard to imagine the best and brightest sticking with such a difficult and poorly compensated line of work. Fortunately, evidence has shown that teachers who elect to integrate the use of data into their work start exhibiting the compulsive behavior of fitness enthusiasts who regularly weigh themselves, check their heart rate, and graph data on their improving physical development.

For both teachers and athletes, the continuous presence of compelling data that their hard work is paying off becomes, in itself, a vitally energizing force. In a homogeneous society in which all students come to school looking alike, it might be wise to seek the one right answer to questions of pedagogy. It is now imperative that classroom teachers have strong content background in each of the subjects they teach, be familiar with the range of student differences in their classrooms, and be capable of diagnosing and prescribing appropriate instructional modifications based upon a knowledge of each child's uniqueness.

Crafting solutions to these dynamic and ever changing classroom issues can be an exciting undertaking, especially when one acknowledges that newer and better answers are evolving all the time. Nevertheless, great personal satisfaction comes from playing a role in creating successful solutions to continually changing puzzles. Conversely, if teachers are expected to robotically implement outdated approaches, especially when countless new challenges are arriving at their door, the frustration can become unbearable.

In most jurisdictions standards-driven accountability systems have become the norm. Although they differ somewhat from state to state and province to province, fundamentally these standards-based systems have certain things in common. Specifically, most education departments and ministries have declared that they expect the standards to be rigorous and meaningful, and that they expect all students to meet the standards at the mastery level.

The stakes in the standards movement are high. Students face consequences regarding promotion and graduation. Teachers and schools face ridicule and loss of funding if they fail to meet community expectations. Of course, none of that would be problematic if we as a society knew with certainty how to achieve universal student success. However, the reality is that no large system anywhere in the world has ever been successful in getting every student to master a set of meaningful objectives.

If we accept the truth of that statement, then we need to acknowledge the fact that achieving the goal of universal student mastery will not be easy. That said, most people will agree it is a most noble endeavor in which to invest energy and a worthy goal for any faculty to pursue.

The reality is that our public schools will not prevail with the challenges inherent in the standards movement unless they encourage experimentation, inquiry, and dialogue by those pioneers the teachers who are working toward meeting those challenges. So the time is right for action research.

Action Research

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In actual fact, the difference between the models is the degree to which an outside researcher influences the action research project in terms of framing the research question and determining the direction the research will take.

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Different models and definitions of action research are explored and an attempt is made to identify the unique features of action research that should make it an attractive mode of research for healthcare practi-.

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“Action Inquiry is an umbrella term for the deliberate use of any kind of a plan, act, describe, review cycle for inquiry into action in a field of practice. Reflective practice, diagnostic practice, action learning, action research and researched action are all kinds of action inquiry.” The method used is similar to Action Science. In distinction, there are some forms of action research where research is the main emphasis and the action is almost a fringe benefit. I regard all of these as action research. This definition is capable of encompassing a variety of research and intervention methods.

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action research model 1. The Power point presentationon:Action Research model 2. Action Research ModelThe action research model focuses onplanned change as a cyclical process inwhich initial research about the organizationprovides information to guide subsequentaction. Action Research is a four step continuous process; Diagnosis, Planning, Action and Evaluation Action Research Theory provides the bridge between knowledge building and data gathering with effective action.