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Transcript of EDU795_7.1
Jones International University
April 20, 2010
Dr. Cynthia Pancer
EDU 795 Public Knowledge and Public Responsibility
What are the advantages and disadvantages of encouraging a program of teacher action research in your school system? When it seems that accountability is only as far away as the next assignment that you give, I think there are definite advantages and disadvantages to teachers doing action research within their own schools. PROS Action research is the basis for differentiated instruction. Anything that improves a teacher’s ability to provide the least restrictive learning environment for a student is a good thing (Tomlinson, Brimijoin, & Narvaez, 2008, xi). Action research promotes professionalism. The current atmosphere of tightly connected standards-instruction-assessment is dumbing down our profession. Action research allows teachers to practice their creativity and problem-solving skills and promotes teacher buy in (Marshall, 2009). Action research promotes teachers to use best practices and collaborate with their colleagues (Sagor, 1993, p. 2). CONS •Action research has the potential to lessen the instructional factor in a classroom. Designing and implementing action research takes time (Sagor, 1993, p. 76). Time that a teacher may not have to commit to an already stretched schedule. Action research has the potential to be taken out of context. The idea of research conjures up large labs or large scale independent studies with tightly controlled variables. Depending on your learning community, action research can be an intimidating influence when educational leaders facilitate their school programs. In addition, action research has the potential to fall prey to political decision-making (Cody, 2009) and may not be taken seriously. Action research should have a mentor or peer review component. Teachers who are far removed from the teacher preparation or research process may not have sufficient contacts to rely on for peer review. They sometimes turn to colleagues of equal status to provide feedback. Any type of study should have an independent, non partisan review process. References Marshall, K. (2009, June 3). What Data-Driven Instruction Should Really Look Like. Teacher Magazine. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2009/06/03/060309tln_marshall.h21.html
Cody, A. (2009, October 18). Interview with Dr. Atkins: Why is Research Trumped by Politics? [Web log post]. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2009/10/interview_with_dr_atkin_why_is.html
Sagor, R. (1993). How to conduct collaborative action research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Tomlinson, C. A., Brimijoin, K., & Narvaez, L. (2008). The differentiated school: making revolutionary changes in teaching and learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.