ACTION RESEARCH

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ACTION RESEARCH EVELYN P. WAPERI ICNHS May ,2013

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What is action research Action research consists of purposive and deliberate action aimed at seeking solutions to practical and on-going problems. In the school context, action research has three main purposes, namely: 1. To seek solutions to practical problems. 2. To improve the teaching & learning process. 3. To provide in-service training for teachers.

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How is action research different from school- based research? In many instances, action research is almost synonymous to school-based research but not quite the same as scientific research. The research locale for action research is the school or the classroom. Some classroom-based studies, however, do not automatically get classified as action research.

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Classroom research follows these steps- which closely approximate the steps in scientific research. Define the problem. 2. Review the literature. 3. Formulate testable hypotheses, strategies or approaches. 4. Arrange the research setting and spell out the procedures and conditions. 5. Establish the evaluation criteria, the measurement techniques, and other means of acquiring useful feedback. 6. Analyze the data and evaluate the outcome.

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While scientific research calls for much control and strict design of the research process. In choosing the sample, it requires randomization in the choice of students as subjects for the study.

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Action research places emphasis on an existing problem-a problem here and now- in a particular setting. Its concern is the immediate application of results, not on developing a theory, nor on some generalization which can be applied to other settings.

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What are the characteristics of action research in school? It is collaborative. It is primary carried out among teachers, not between a teacher and an outside researcher. 2. Teachers focus on their own practice not on the practice of others. The teachers can be thought of as being the subjects of their own research. .

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3. It is self-developmental. The expectation is that the teachers will improve their practices and come to a better understanding of their educational practice in doing so.

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4. There is a significant moral component to the process because action research stems from teacher’s recognition and desire to seek a solution to a problem, which solution results in better instruction. Since action research focuses on teacher- identified issues, it must be amenable to the consideration of moral questions.

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What is the rationale and philosophy of action research? The rationale for action research is that immediate action needs to be undertaken in dealing with school problems . Teachers who are directly involved in instruction can make conjectures about some causes of instruction-related problems.

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According to Levin (1995), a social process like teaching can be studied by observing its effects scientifically. For him, action research is a form of rational management or social engineering which requires group participation through democratic processes based on careful planning, analysis, fact- finding and evaluation.

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Action research engages both teachers and students in a shared search for knowledge. Teacher research must be seen as a significant part of behaving in a professional way. Action research addresses practical here- and-now problems related to the teaching- learning situation.

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What is the goal of action research? The goal is to solve an existing problem in the school, or in the class which the teacher teaches. The goal of the research is to obtain knowledge that can be applied directly to the local classroom situation and to give the participating teacher an opportunity to grow professionally. Hence, action research is a form of in-service training for teachers.

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What is the source of the research problem? The problems to be studied are those which are causing the teacher-researcher trouble, or are interfering with the efficiency of his/ her teaching. He/she only needs to be reflective in his/her teaching and sensitive to problems in the school situation.

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What does a teacher need to be able to do action research? Calling upon teachers to conduct research requires these essential conditions: He/she should be sensitive to existing or impending problems related to the teaching - learning process. .

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2. He/she should possess research skills which will generate data. 3. He/she should be able to communicate findings in such a manner as to motivate other teachers to take action.

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What problems call for action research? Here are ten examples of school problems which teachers would recognize as affecting the teaching-learning process. 1.Low student participation in class activities 2.Irregular attendance; tardiness in classes 3. Students’ negative attitude toward mathematics and science 4. Lack of articulation or perceived relation among subjects in the curriculum

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5. Low motivation of pupils to perform their best in tests 6. N0n-accompishment of homework, assignments or projects 7. Unruly behavior of students 8. Negative influence of a few students on the behaved majority 9. Parents’ indifference or apathy concerning their children’s education 10. Non-observance of health and hygiene practices in an outside school.

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What training does the teacher need in order to do action research? Only a limited training in statistics and research methods is needed because rigorous design and analyses are usually not necessary in action research, unlike in research required for academic degrees or in studies done in universities and research institutions.

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Is a review of literature needed? This is not done as rigidly and extensively as in the case of scientific research. Available secondary sources which will give the teacher a general understanding of the area to be studied will do for related literature.

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From where is the sample obtained? Students available in the classes in the school of the teacher doing the research are used as subjects. Strict sampling procedures are not required. The teacher- researcher uses the method he/she is trying out naturally with his/her class and observes its effects.

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How about the research design? In action research, little attention is given to control of the experimental conditions or reduction of error. Sometimes no comparison group is used – only a one- group design.

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Is there a need to state a hypothesis? If the problem is clearly stated, the hypothesis will suggest itself. The research question can be re-stated in declarative form.

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How does a school get started in action research? Steps in the scientific method: 1.Identifying problems 2. Analysis of problems 3. Formulating ideas or hypotheses 4. Gathering and interpreting data 5. Implementing action 6. Evaluating the results of the action