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Improving Schools Through Action Research A Reflective Practice Approach,9780132868648
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Improving Schools Through Action Research A Reflective Practice Approach



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Cher Hendricks' Action Research for School Improvement: A Reflective Practice Approach, Third Edition , is a brief, accessible, and practical text that prepares educators to conduct their own action research projects. The third edition provides the information needed to complete each step of the action research cycle. Chapter activities include a research paper component that helps readers create a research paper as they complete the activities. Additional activities have been added in this edition to help educators navigate through each step of the action research process-from choosing a topic and generating research questions through data analysis and reporting results and conclusions. Other features of the book include detailed strategies for (1) reviewing and synthesizing the literature and writing a literature review, (2) collecting, triangulating, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data (including how to graphically display results), (3) drawing conclusions from results, and (4) writing in APA (6th edition) style. Numerous Internet resources-including links to action research networks, professional organizations, and journals-are provided. Throughout the text, the book incorporates numerous pedagogical devices such as Exercises and Cases to help readers practically explore topics. Examples are provided throughout the book to document the ways teachers, principals, counselors, administrators, and support staff can improve their practice through action research. Among the changes and additions to the third edition, the text now presents a sharper focus on reflection in the action research cycle--including new reflection activities in every chapter. The book also places a greater emphasis on working with a critical friend or colleague throughout the action research process and incorporates updated and new online and professional resources as well as a more detailed explanation of how to analyze and interpret qualitative data, and instructions on formatting the research paper using the latest APA Guidelines.

Author Biography

Cher Hendricks is a research scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology in the Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computing (CEISMC). The focus of her work is on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research at the K-12 and post-secondary levels. Prior to her work with Georgia Tech, Cher was an associate professor of educational research and worked with masters, specialist, and doctoral students facilitating their action research projects. Prior to that, she was a teacher of students with disabilities in both inner city Houston and on a barrier island in South Carolina.

Table of Contents

Research Methods in Educationp. 1
Ways Research Advances Knowledge About Educationp. 2
Quantitative Researchp. 2
Qualitative Researchp. 3
Action Researchp. 3
Comparison of Articles on Cooperative Learningp. 7
The Origin of Action Researchp. 7
The Action Research Processp. 10
Types of Action Researchp. 11
The Importance of Action Research for Improving Schoolsp. 13
Becoming Familiar with the Language and Process of Action Researchp. 16
Reading Action Research Studiesp. 16
Summaryp. 77
Additional Reading Materialsp. 17
Action Research Resourcesp. 18
Generating Research Ideas Through Reflectionp. 26
The History of Reflection in Educationp. 28
Reflection in Action Researchp. 29
Engaging in Reflexive Inquiry as a Way to Know Yourself as an Educatorp. 32
Reflecting to Identify a Research Focusp. 33
Reflective Journalsp. 36
Reflecting with a Critical Friendp. 38
Reflecting to Identify a Research Focusp. 39
Summaryp. 41
Connecting Theory and Action: Reviewing the Literaturep. 42
Reviewing Literature as a Professional, Intellectual Activityp. 43
Sources of Topic-Specific Literaturep. 45
Searching for Literature to Reviewp. 47
ERICp. 48
ProQuestp. 50
EBSCOhostp. 52
Documents Not Available Full-Textp. 53
Choosing, Evaluating, and Synthesizing Reviewed Literature for Action Research Studiesp. 53
Choosing Literaturep. 54
Evaluating Literaturep. 55
Synthesizing Literaturep. 56
Organizing and Writing the Literature Reviewp. 57
Reviewing the Literaturep. 62
Summaryp. 64
Initial Planning of the Action Research Studyp. 69
Articulating Research Questionsp. 70
Articulating Research Questionsp. 74
Planning the Interventionp. 75
Participantsp. 77
Collaborationp. 78
Ethical Guidelines for Action Research Studiesp. 81
Planning the Interventionp. 82
Gaining Informed Consentp. 87
Summaryp. 87
Strategies for Collecting Datap. 88
Collecting Multiple Forms of Data to Establish Credibility and Validityp. 89
Methods of Data Collection: Artifacts, Observational Data, and Inquiry Datap. 90
Artifactsp. 91
Observational Datap. 100
Inquiry Datap. 109
The Importance of Collecting Baseline Datap. 119
Aligning Data Collection Strategies with Research Questionsp. 120
Choosing Data Collection Strategiesp. 121
Summaryp. 122
Final Planning Before Implementation of the Studyp. 123
Definitions of Validityp. 124
Determining Ways to Increase Validityp. 125
Creating a Plan for Increasing Validityp. 131
Engaging in Continuous, Ongoing Reflective Planning Throughout the Studyp. 131
Creating a Timeline for the Projectp. 133
Ongoing Reflective Planning and Creating a Timelinep. 135
Summaryp. 135
Strategies for Data Analysisp. 137
Interim Data Analysisp. 137
Using Software Packages to Analyze Large Amounts of Datap. 139
Analysis of Quantitative Data: Reporting, Comparing, and Displayingp. 140
Testsp. 141
Closed-Ended Itemsp. 144
Checklists and Tally Sheetsp. 147
Computer-Generated Reports and School Recordsp. 150
Analysis of Qualitative Data: Looking for Themes and Patternsp. 153
Analysis of Quantitative Datap. 154
Interviews, Focus Groups, and Conferencesp. 156
Observational Records and Field Notesp. 160
Documents and Journalsp. 160
Open-Ended Items (Surveys, Scales, Self-Assessments, Peer Reviews)p. 163
Analysis of Qualitative Datap. 167
Triangulating Data Sources and Drawing Conclusions from Datap. 168
Answering Research Questions and Reaching Conclusionsp. 170
Summaryp. 171
Writing and Disseminating the Action Research Reportp. 173
Guidelines for Writing the Final Action Research Reportp. 174
Paper Formatp. 174
Content Formatp. 177
Disseminating Action Research Findingsp. 179
Other Ways to Write Up Researchp. 184
Concluding Commentsp. 185
Referencesp. 186
Indexp. 191
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