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Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

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Bestseller!

The Action Research Guidebook

A Process for Pursuing Equity and Excellence in Education
Third Edition
By: Richard D. Sagor, Charlene Williams

Learn how to use a four-stage action research process, reflective practice, qualitative and quantitative methods, and culturally responsive teaching to improve the success of all students.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506350158
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2016
  • Page Count: 288
  • Publication date: November 02, 2016

Price: $44.95

Description

Description

Think of yourself as an educational architect

Action research is your essential tool for designing and building a better classroom or school. You know your students best, and by digging deeper into a challenge or research question and then taking informed action, you can achieve far more than any cookie-cutter curriculum or canned program. This empowering introduction to action research is ideal for new and veteran teachers, as well as principals, counselors, and other educators who are committed to school improvement. In the third edition of this bestselling guidebook, you’ll find:

  • New insights on how to use reflective practice, qualitative and quantitative methods, and culturally responsive teaching to improve the success of all students
  • A field-tested, four-stage action research process to lead you from brainstorming to breakthrough, with step-by-step instructions in plain English
  • More illustrative examples, charts, handouts, worksheets, and sample action research reports to demystify and simplify the action research process

By tapping into the power of action research, you can improve overall student performance, eliminate achievement gaps, and enhance your own efficacy and morale.

"The most successful educators are those that purposefully reflect on their practices, with a focus on how and to what degree these practices impact student learning. This book provides a four-stage structured approach for teachers and administrators to engage in action research, with the ultimate goal being to move our schools and classrooms closer to universal student success.”
Eric Carbaugh, Associate Professor of Education
James Madison University


"I love the four-step model and how it is emphasized throughout the text. This approach clearly makes the text unique and a 'must read' for all teachers wanting to enhance their teaching through
action research."
Christopher J. Maglio, Professor of Education, Research Methods, and Design
Truman State University

Author(s)

Author(s)

Richard D. Sagor photo

Richard D. Sagor

Richard Sagor recently retired from his position as professor and director of the Educational Leadership Program at Lewis & Clark College. In 1997 he founded ISIE (pronounced “I see”), the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, to work with schools and educational organizations on the use of action research and data-based school improvement while he was a professor of educational leadership at Washington State University (WSU).

Prior to his work at the university level, Sagor had 14 years of public school administrative experience, including service as an assistant superintendent, high school principal, instruction vice principal, disciplinary vice principal, and alternative school head teacher. He has taught the entire range of students, from the gifted to the learning disabled, in the areas of social studies, reading, and written composition.

Educated in the public schools of New York, Sagor received his BA from New York University and two MA degrees as well as a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Oregon.

Beyond his work as a teacher and administrator, Sagor has had extensive international consulting experience. He served as a site visitor for the United States Department of Education’s Secondary School Recognition Program and has worked with the Department of Defense’s overseas schools, numerous state departments of education, and over 200 separate school districts across North America. His consulting has focused primarily on leadership development, the use of data with standards-based school improvement, collaborative action research, teacher motivation, and teaching at-risk youth.

His articles on school reform and action research have received awards from the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the Educational Press Association of America. Sagor’s books include The TQE Principal: A Transformed Leader; At-Risk Students: Reaching and Teaching Them; How To Conduct Collaborative Action Research; Local Control and Accountability: How to Get It, Keep It, and Improve School Performance; Guiding School Improvement With Action Research; Motivating Students and Teachers in an Era of Standards; and Collaborative Action Research for Professional Learning Communities.

Sagor can be contacted at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education, 16420 SE McGillivray, Suite 103–239, Vancouver, WA 98683, or by e-mail at rdsagor@isie.org.

Charlene Williams photo

Charlene Williams

Charlene Williams currently supervises school leaders in her role as Senior Director of School Performance in Portland Public Schools in Portland, OR. Additionally, she leads the collaboration between teacher’s union and district leadership on effective teacher evaluation practices in addition to coordinating System’s Thinking training for staff across the district.
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition


Publisher’s Acknowledgments


About the Authors


1. Introduction to Action Research

Why Conduct Action Research?

The Complexity of Routine Instructional Decisions

Key Terms and Concepts

Universal Student Success

2. Finding a Focus

Zeroing in on Your Priorities

Using Reflective Writing to Find a Focus

Performance, Process, and Program Targets and Action Research by School Leaders

Using a Journal to Identify Action Research Foci

Reflective Interviews

Reflective Interviewing and the Problem of Isolation

Analytic Discourse

Team Reflection

3. Refining the Focus

Visualizing Success

Conducting an Instructional Postmortem

Taking Stock of One’s Recent Leadership Experience

Comparing Your Experience With the Experience of Others

Developing Criteria to Measure Changes With Priority Achievement Targets

Creating Performance Rating Scales

Rating Scales and Program Action Research

The Special Problem of Long-Range Goals

Assessing Rate of Growth

Determining Adequate Yearly Progress in Real Time

Producing Your Own Rate-of-Growth Charts

Ascertaining Rate of Growth in Leadership Projects

4. Articulating a Theory of Action

If Not Us, Who?

An Adequate Knowledge Base Already Exists

Going Beyond Proven Practices: Building a Theory of Action

Two Kinds of Variables

Creating Mileposts on the Route to Mastery

Inferring Independent Variables

Using the Priority Pie to Identify, Clarify, and Weigh Independent Variables

Using the Priority Pie With Descriptive Research

5. Drawing a Theory of Action

Why a Map?

European Explorers as Action Researchers

Building a Graphic Reconstruction

Graphic Reconstructions for Quasi-Experimental Research

Graphic Reconstructions With Descriptive Research

Proofing a Theory of Action for Leadership Projects

6. Determining the Research Questions

Three Generic Action Research Questions

Developing Your Own Research Questions

Two-Step Walk-Through

Drafting the Questions

Surfacing Research Questions for Leadership Projects

7. Building a Data Collection Plan

Data Collection and the Competing Demands for Your Time

What Qualifies as Teaching?

What Things Qualify as Data?

Data in Descriptive Research

Data in Quasi-Experimental Research

Data Collection and Concerns About Precision

Fishing in a Sea of Data

Securing Research Assistants

Building a Triangulated Data Collection Plan

Data Collection Planning for Leadership Projects

Integrating Efficiencies Into Your Data Collection Work

Using Technology to Compile and Assemble Action Research Data

Keeping a Researcher’s Journal

8. Analyzing the Data

Trend Analysis

Organizing Data to Help Answer the Three Generic Questions

ACR Question 1: What Did We Do?

ACR Question 2: What Changes Occurred Regarding the Achievement Targets?

ACR Question 3: What Was the Relationship Between Actions Taken and Any Changes in Performance on the Targets?

Drawing Tentative Assertions

Using Member Checking to Add Credibility to the Tentative Assertions

Additional Tools for Qualitative Data Analysis

Qualitative Data Analysis Using Bins and a Matrix

Low-Tech Strategies for Bins and Matrixes

Using a Computer for Bins and Matrixes

9. Turning Findings Into Action Plans

Modifying Your Theory of Action

Data-Based Decision Making

Turning Your Findings Into Ed Specs

Solicit and Brainstorm Action Alternatives

Using Ed Specs to Evaluate Action Alternatives

Using Ed Specs to Evaluate Action Alternatives for Schoolwide Projects

Completing the Cycle: Revised Theory of Action 2

10. Reporting and Sharing Action Research

Common Issues

Formats for Reporting

Creating a Bank of Abstracts

Creating a District Archive

11. Conclusion: The School as a Learning Organization

The Two Keys: Coherence and Congruence

Putting the Pieces Together

Resources


Resource A: How to Use the Feedback Forms and Summary Reports

Resource B: Five Characteristics of a Quality Action Research Project

Resource C: Applications for Leadership Projects

Resource D: Sample Abbreviated Action Research Reports

Glossary


References


Index


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