Due Date: either January 27, 2014 or April 11, 2014, to be set by your instructor
1. Identify a Concern in your Teaching Practice.Typically, as part of your school practicum, you will record your observations, reflections, questions, and feelings, as well as understandings, in a journal, as you attempt to make sense of your practicum experiences. These observations and questions will enable you to identify your “concern.” Try to connect your concern to issues that you identified in your reading and courses here.
There are as many examples as there are classrooms. Many of you may decide to focus your inquiry on classroom management, instruction or assessment. Typically, your topic will come from your own practicum, but will be something that will likely recur in another setting.
2. Plan your research process. Understand the ethical concerns, as well as the procedures you need to follow, before you begin your Action Research project. Be clear about the parameters of your project, as well as the assessment rubric your Instructor will be using to evaluate your work. Be clear about ethical concerns surrounding your project. Use the guidelines and Proposal and Consent Form parameters to guide your information gathering. Procedurally, you need to identify your topic and narrow it to a manageable level. You need to read the list of possible information sources for your examination of possible ways to deal with your concern (see handout Action Research Proposal and Consent Form). Note the methods you are expected to use to assist in your research, and the methods you are not to use. Your form will guide your work, and you will return it, signed by your Faculty Liaison, Associate Teacher and yourself, when you hand in your completed Action Research paper. You will need to discuss your plans with your Faculty Liaison as well as your Associate Teacher.
3. Develop a Proposal
Develop a proposal that indicates your concern, and the sorts of actions you intend to take and resources you intend to examine in conducting your inquiry and preparing your essay. Use the Proposal and Consent Form.
Your action research plan will be approved and signed by your Prof 190 Instructor and your Associate Teacher or another professional from your school.
4. Explore various information sources as you implement your plan. You need to use data from your own observations about your practice, as well as from Associate Teachers and the professional literature. Take advantage of the wealth of on-line journals and other professional literature that can guide your work. Use all or most of these sources of information: observation of students; conversations with students; analysis of student work; written feedback from students submitted anonymously through the Associate Teacher; your notes on classroom or playground events; notes on your own work; journal notes and reflections; notes from conversations with your peers, Faculty Liaison and Associate Teacher; professional readings. Please note that you may not use information obtained through interviewing, conducting surveys, video recording, audio recording, photographs, notes naming individuals or identifying your school or any students.
Be sure to take a critical stance toward all the resources you consult.
5. Write and submit a reflective paper.Use the online reporting template, found on the course website. When you use the reporting template, your paper will meet these criteria:
a. 6 to 10 pages, double-spaced, using appropriate and consistent referencing
b. clear description of your concern, without identifying people or places
c. steps you took to address your concern
d. discussion of the concern from the point of view of the data you gathered and the resources you consulted, including critical comments about the resources
e. steps you intend to take to deal with this concern in your professional practice
f. reflections on your own learning about this concern
g. reflections on the process of conducting Action Research
Your paper must adhere to the Ethical Guidelines. Please consult them if you are unsure.
All candidates completing Action Research will hand in their completed, signed Proposal and Consent Form along with their completed essay, to their instructor. Instructors will send the signed Proposal and Consent Form to the Coordinator to be held for audit by the Education Research Ethics Board for audit.
For further information about how your paper will be assessed by your Instructor see attached action research rubric.