Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 4 (Peer Suggestions and Revisions)

Thanks to Barbara Grayson for commenting on my action research plan. Her comment is as follows:
“Working with both types of districts, I hear this question quite often. Parents want the best education for their child, but don't always choose a private school for the curriculum or teaching practices. I like the student focus you are taking, especially the exploration of possible life choices. School is so isolated from the real world and students don't see that connection. Public and charter schools need to take on that responsibility but so many public schools focus on the state assessment and lose sight of other goals. Parent and students need to take a good look at the data on achievement, graduation, continuation to higher education as a start. Perhaps your study will help to generate a list of comparative questions for parents to ask of each type of school.”

Barbara’s comment made me feel more comfortable to research this subject. This comment has made me think about how much the research will benefit some of the classmates. Having chosen this topic has put me in this opportunity to assist others in finding the right fit for them as parents and for their children. That’s why I am glad that in my plan I have set aside a question and answer forum and will make it available on the internet for all to see so they can see that they are not alone in making a decision for their children’s education. It just seemed that most of the comments on my topic came from the discussion questions and they seem very intrigued to see what the results are going to be as was I. Just finding out the top reasons that parents choose charter schools over the traditional public school system was at the same time a challenge as well as a thrill to find out what goes into choosing one. I want to thank all that have given me feedback and insight as to what the results will be.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Week 3 Action Research Steps

Goal: To determine and evaluate why parents choose charter schools over public schools and how much of an impact it makes for their students.                                                      

Action Steps        
Persons Responsible      
Needed Resources    
1. Gather and research data from various outlets that I am using such as the internet, books, interviews, etc. on charter schools and public schools.
Clarence Kea
Barbara Polk

Data will be gathered un until the last day.
July 9th-August 13th 
Internet access followed by books, journals, and articles supporting both schools.
Review the information provided thoroughly to ensure that the facts are accurate and they support each type of school accurately.
2.  Do a comparing/contrasting analysis on charter schools vs. public schools then document the findings.
Clarence Kea

This document will determine the outcome of the  decision whether parents choose a charter school or a public school.
August 9th-13th
Computer, books, journals, articles, recorded interviews.
Review the information and determine the pros and cons of each school and make sure the resources are documented and accounted for.
3.  Compile the list of the results to reach a conclusion as to which school is considered the best overall and review it with my site supervisor. Make a list of suggestions on ways to improve in all areas.
Clarence Kea
Barbara Polk

This will be conducted at the end of the research process and will be presented on the last day.
August 13th
Review the list of results with my site supervisor and make any revisions as necessary. Discuss ways to implement the suggestions to improve the argument. Re-evaluate in a year and see if there were any changes.

Action Research Week 3

Goals and objectives/outcomes of the research investigation

To determine why parents choose charter schools over public schools and vice versa.
Searching the benefits/negative aspects of charter schools vs public schools.
Knowing the future of charter schools and public schools.
Activities designed to achieve the objectives
Conversing with various parents who have students in both types of schools.
Viewing numerous web 2.0 technologies (I.E. blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.)

Resources and research tools needed for data gathering

World Wide Web
Charter and Public school teachers (current and former)
Charter and Public school parents (current and former)
Various Libraries (I.E. Mary and John Gray, R.C. Miller, Beaumont Public Library)

Draft timeline for completion or implementation of activities

Identifying the problem/concern to research (Completed by February 1st)
The purpose of/concern of charter schools vs public schools (Completed by February 1st)
The blueprint of charter schools vs public schools, Part 1 (Completed by February 1st)
Interviewing the participants
Researching the web for articles, videos, blogs, etc.
The blueprint of charter schools vs public schools, Part 2 (Completed by February 1st)
Reviewing the information researched.
Correcting grammatical errors, sentence structure, etc.
Submitting the final approved plan (Completed by February 1st)

Persons responsible for implementation of the action research

Clarence Kea (prime researcher)
Barbara Polk (current principal)
Mary Williams (teacher)
Melissa Stevens (parent of charter school and public school students)
Wayne Cooper (teacher and parent of public school student)

Process for monitoring the achievement of goals and objectives

Progress reports (monitor information regarding implementation of the problem/concern and lessons learned)
Checking for updated information posted on the web, from the teachers and parents, etc.
Assessment instrument(s) to evaluate the effectiveness of the action research study
Re-evaluate the interview process of these parents who have enrolled their student in charter/public school.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Action Research

This week (Week 2) I have learned about the different topics that are very important when it comes to action research and the cycle it goes through to make sure that every point was covered top to bottom. In order to complete this you have to follow these 5 steps:

1. Identification of problem area

2. Collection and organization of data

3. Interpretation of data

4. Action based on data

5. Reflection

This is just some basic points that teachers and principals have to follow coming up with different examples of action research that will not only assist and help them but assist and help the students as well:

• Teachers and principals work best on problems they have identified for themselves

• Teachers and principals become more effective when encouraged to examine and assess their own work and then consider ways of working differently

• Teachers and principals help each other by working collaboratively

• Working with colleagues helps teachers and principals in their professional development

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I Have Learned About Action Research and How to Use It

While doing search on what action research is and how much of an impact it has on the classroom I‘ve found that you have to pick an area of question. The first question that many of you may have asked yourself in the classroom is, "Why do my fifth period students come into class everyday bouncing off the walls?" When you know what you are trying to solve, working through it will be much easier because now you can focus on an issue and not a broad topic like class management. If you can control this class when they first come into your classroom it may change the entire class period. You must also gather any and all information you can. Start collecting data on your class and the problem that you are studying. Count the instances, occurrences, individuals, and events that surround your problem. Arrange the information that you gather by grade level, classes, etc. As you collect the data, write it in the form of a diary or journal. Sometimes just by seeing the information in another format allows you to get a new perspective on your problem. You might consider using podcasts or video recording your class. During this step, you could also gather information directly from your students through a questionnaire. You may interview your students or even have an internal class focus group. When gathering information, attempt to identify all of the reasons that could lead to the problem. You must also set a timeline.Create a step-by-step time plan of actions and intervention(s). Establish times that allow for evaluation and monitoring. This could be a day, a week, or a month. Identify components of your project that you can measure to determine success. You might have your class come into the room and go directly to their seats. Set up a timeline that establishes successful accomplishment of this goal within one week. And lastly you must reflect.
Reflect on what has been accomplished. How has the situation changed? Is your problem solved? Have you seen positive results? Do you need more time? Do you need to start over? Don't be afraid to do the process again.