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The nature of action research

In view of these issues, a particularly important kind of investigation for teachers is action research (sometimes also teacher research), an activity referring to systematic, intentional inquiry by teachers for the purpose of improving their own practice (Stenhouse, 1985; Brydon-Miller, Greenwood,&Maguire, 2003; Russell, T.&Loughran, J. 2005). Action research is not to be confused with research about teaching and learning, which are investigations by professional researchers on topics of teachers, teaching, or learning.

Action research has several defining characteristics, in addition to being planned and conducted by teachers. First, it originates in the problems and dilemmas of classroom practice, or in chronic problems with certain students, materials, or activities. Second, its outcomes offer information focused on particular teachers and classrooms, rather than about teachers in general or students in general. Although this feature might make action research seem less useful as a source of advice or knowledge that is truly general, supporters argue that focusing on specific learning contexts makes action research more credible or valid as a source of practical information and ideas. It is, they argue, simply more attuned to the context of real classrooms (St. Clair, 2005). Third, while the audience for action research can certainly include professors and educational administrators, the audience tends to be other teachers (Fenstermacher, 1994; Ackerman&MacKenzie, 2007). Action research is therefore in an especially strong position to provide "insider" perspectives on educational problems.

Action research in practice

Action research makes a number of assumptions as a result of its nature and purposes (Richardson, 1994; Schmuck, 2006). To varying degrees, most such studies support some combination of these ideas:

  • that teaching is itself really a form of research
  • that action research, like teaching itself, requires substantial reflection
  • that collaboration among teachers is crucial for making teacher research meaningful, and for the improvement of teaching
  • that teachers' knowledge of teaching has to be shared publicly, especially when gained systematically through action research

To see how these features look in practice, look at several examples of action research studies.

Example #1: focusing on motivating students

A number of years ago, Patricia Clifford and Sharon Friesen published an account of their effort to develop a classroom program based on students' out-of-school interests and experiences (1993). Clifford and Friesen were co-teachers in a double-sized classroom which deliberately included children from first, second and third grades. Their interest in students’ out-of-school experiences grew out of three more basic questions about teaching, which they phrased like this:

  • How can curriculum remain open to children's unique experiences and connect with the world they know outside the school? Too often, the official school curriculum lacked meaning for children because it seemed cut off from the rest of the world. The result was unmotivated students and poor learning.
  • Why is imaginative experience the best starting place for planning? The teachers felt that imaginative experiences—make-believe play, stories, poems—provided access to children's lives outside school—their make-believe play, or their stories or poems. Perhaps somehow these could be connected to the goals of the official curriculum.
  • What happens when teachers break down the barriers between school knowledge and real knowledge? In drawing on children's outside experiences, would children actually become more motivated or not? Would they take over the program, and fail to learn the official curriculum goals?

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Educational psychology. OpenStax CNX. May 11, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11302/1.2
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