TO TEACHER RESEARCH AND INQUIRY
(4 Semester Hours)
1. Course Description:
The major purpose of this course is to help participants identify research interests, determine strategies, and form designs to complete research projects. Participants will learn action research strategies that help them define questions and determine methods of gathering information and assessing it. Participants will also examine the theory and practice of both quantitative and qualitative research. By the end of the course, that students will clarify a research question and be able to write a research proposal with a relevant research design. Prerequisite: Education 550.
II. Course Objectives: Students will be able to:
1. Define terminology associated with conducting teacher research.
2. Understand the theories and methods of conducting action research.
3. Explain and defend research topic and method in terms of mission and professional responsibility and ethics.
4. Describe and apply appropriate data base applications for conducting the research project.
5. Determine how the line of research to be conducted falls within the guidelines established by the Institutional Review Board.
1. Generate an appropriate action research problem.
2. Begin a thoughtful review of the literature for the problem.
3. Design a sound action research method which includes design, subjects, instruments, and procedures.
4. Use on-line resources to assess and review other action research projects.
5. Analyze data according to descriptive and inferential methods.
C) Attitudes and Values
1. Acknowledge the need for continual research into teaching.
2. Consider the ethical issues involved in teacher research and the use of human subjects.
3. Value the need for professional partnerships.
4. Consider how their own professional research can be aligned with the needs students, the school, and the wider educational community.
III. Course Topics and Outline
1. Action Research Theory and PracticeText: Calhoun
Topics: Background and history, action research and school improvement, action research and student learning, steps in action research, forming action research problems and proposals.
2. Qualitative and Quantitative TheoryText: On-line resources: Network and Learning Exchange, Mills (Chapters)
Topics: review of action research proposals, terminology and in educational research, data base construction and entering data, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, qualitative research.
3. Forming Research Questions and Design ProposalsText: Mills
Topics: ethical issues, generating parental consent, institutional review procedures, developing sound research methods and instruments
IV. Instructional Procedure
1. Discussions of educational research theory and practice.
2. Assessment of completed action research projects using on-line resources.
3. Analysis of research problems and design.
4. Development of full research plan and design.
Students must complete each of the following assignments:
Research Design (50%)
1. Generate an appropriate action research problem statement complete with rationale.
2. Develop an annotated bibliography of 15 resources as part of their literature review.
3. Design a sound action research method which includes design, selection of subjects,
instruments, and procedures.
4. Integrate all of the above components to develop an action research proposal to be
approved by advisor.
Data Analysis 50%
Data Format: The instructor will provide both quantitative and qualitative data for students to format. Quantitative data must be entered into a spreadsheet and qualitative data must be typed in a word processing format or spreadsheet and ready for coding. The instructor will observe whether the data has been entered properly and is ready for analysis.
Quantitative Analysis:Descriptive Statistics: Students will use instructor's data or data they provide to calculate and represent in graph form mean, median, mode, standard deviation, and range.
Inferential Statistics: Students will use either their data or the instructor's data in a t-test, sign test, and Mann-Whitney Test. Students must also submit a brief description of the result, and significance of results.
Qualitative Analysis: Students will use their own data or data from another class member to group into categories and analyze and code. Students must write a brief description of their procedure.
VI. Clinical Experience and Field Experience
Analysis and review of specific on-line action research projects will be conducted. Students will also analyze specific data sets provided by the instructor.
VII. Text and Supplemental Materials
Calhoun, E.F. (1994) How To Use Action Research in a Self-Renewing School. Alexandria,
VI: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Mills, B. (2000). Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
Supplemental Materials and Readings:
Anderson, G. L., Herr, K. & Nihlen, A.S. (1994). Studying Your Own School: An Educators Guide to Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Brannigan, G.G. (1996). The Enlightened Educator. New York: McGraw Hill.
Elmore, P.B., & Woehlke, P.L. (1997). Basic Statistics. New York: Longman.
Glanz, J. (1998). Action Research: An Educational Leader's Guide to School Improvement.Norwood, MA: Christopher Gorder.
Krathwohl, D.R. (1998). Methods of Educational and Social Science Research: An Integrated Approach. New York: Longman.
McLean, J.E. (1996). Improving Education Though Action Research. New York: Hyde Publications.
Sagor, R. (1992). How to Conduct Collaborative Action Research. Alexandria, VI: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tuckman, B.W. (1994.) Conducting Educational Research (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Networks: An on-line journal for teacher research: This is the first on-line journal dedicated to teacher research. It provides examples of teacher researcher studies.
Learning Exchange: Describes the International Symposium on Collaborative Action Research. The sites provides links to other educational sites.
Southern Cross University Action Research Links: Provides links to action research, action learning, and an international action research journal.
VIII. Course Numbering Rationale
The "500" number designates the course as graduate level. It is sequentially numbered with the other core courses in the Master of Arts in Education graduate program.
IX. Date of Syllabus: Fall, 99[an error occurred while processing this directive]