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Contents:
  1. UBC Theses and Dissertations
  2. School Librarian-PSEL - What and Why
  3. Action Research: A Practical Guide for Transforming Your School Library
  4. Harkness and action research : activity and affect - UBC Library Open Collections

Descriptive words and actions were initially focused on, and after the first Nvivo coding, the large amount of data was paired down into smaller, more focused codes. Following this, after multiple readings of the interviews, patterns started to emerge. The same approach was used to code the meeting notes and collected data; however, as the initial coding of the interviews had been done, the general meeting notes were coded to complement or support the initial themes that were identified in the interview transcripts. I did not want to read too far into what I was trying to say at the time when I started the first cycle of coding.

As I did with the interview transcripts, however, it is impossible not to look back on the writing and remember why certain things were mentioned; so some instances were summarized using the descriptive coding approach to simplify the coding.

UBC Theses and Dissertations

It is evident that in a shared experience, much of the same codes were present i. The themes, codes, and frequency are shown in Table 1. Each theme is made up of multiple codes which were gathered into themes after multiple readings. The frequency of each code pertains to the number of instances of each code within all the data. Once a theme is established and described, relevant literature and other instances will be discussed as an analysis to accompany each theme.

Being able to identify characteristics of a class, teacher, or student leads to successful discussions and to identifying patterns that could hinder successful discussion. It has been seen in other studies that: Unlike many adult-organized initiatives for youth, YAR provides a means for youth to experience growth on a personal level, as well as effect change in schools and communities.

Youth move beyond simply being the recipients of reform to adopting more empowering roles of being responsible for and effecting change Fullan and Stiegelbaur ; Levin Goodnough, , p. As one student wrote in their journal when thinking about the definition of Harkness: I, for one, found it hard to push away the definition that has been ingrained in our minds for so long and I kept jumping back to all the common phrases that are used so often to describe it, discussion-based learning, collaboration, critical thinking… I tried hard to think of more description for it, before realizing upon quick reflection that these phrases were actually quite accurate for the role it has played in my life as a student.

This for me, was a small indicator of such a method despite its many problems as we ranted about later was already a success on its own and the evident progress and positive impact that 47 this teaching style has made on me as a student is quite meaningful. It was through having open, collaborative, conversations that these phrases were actually quite accurate.

Through this opportunity to talk about Harkness from a participant in an action research study, students could start to analyze Harkness. They were finding success despite perhaps feeling disenchanted at times. Although most of the members considered themselves to be students who excelled in a Harkness classroom, it was evident after the first few sessions that the students were increasingly becoming more aware of the potential effectiveness of Harkness to promote learning.

Additionally, beyond the above excerpt, the students also gained greater insights to the factors and dynamics which affect their Harkness classroom environment. My Harkness sensitivity was also heightened during this time. These will help to illustrate the different ways the students were able to understand Harkness. These are broader ideas and realizations and were evident during the ARG, as well as at the end of the ARG when the students had time to break away and think about what we had accomplished during our time together.

For example, classroom dynamics: can we really change or even influence an individual's personality? How does the school culture play a role into the common classroom dynamics? These questions turned the attention to the learning process in a holistic way, rather than an individually focused way, which I argue, will help to strengthen the collaborative nature of Harkness at the school.

Mark also commented: Before this research I thought, Harkness is more, controlled by, I guess teachers, but then if we were doing this [action] research and if were trying to improve it, I thought, okay, 49 then, I guess the students, mostly, can play a bigger role in improving the overall Harkness experience at SchoolA. This ARG offered an opportunity for the participants to identify and analyze the cause-and-effect relationships which shaped their school experience, on a scale that is greater than what they have direct control over.

School Librarian-PSEL - What and Why

There also appears to be movement towards students analyzing their educational environment, and them beginning to take note of the classroom dynamics in ways that allowed them to think about the impact they have as a collective student body on their learning. As we progressed through the research cycle, students gained increasing sensitivity to what was going on around them. As a student, after these few sessions, I have already began to see benefits.

In contrast, by the end of the action research, many of the students had commented on how their own presence at the table was enhanced by being part of the ARG. It could be concluded that through participating in discussions about Harkness, a sensitivity and affinity to the discussion-based learning was formed. Having eleven students in 51 the school with an increased awareness of what is going on inside of their classrooms could be a precursor for further improvements; these students can now be the leaders in their peer groups.

The students discovered how Harkness continues to support learning experiences and helped them connect with the philosophical underpinnings of Harkness although students do not always discuss them as such. This discovery is evident in the ways they examined their roles in Harkness, and the factors which they control daily to enrich their own experience at the table.

As a researcher, I discovered that opening spaces for students to speak about their current learning environment promotes their reflection and coming to realize the aforementioned points. Moreover, opening spaces also allowed me as a teacher to better understand how the students were interpreting what is going on in the classroom, and begin to strategize ways to support their growth as learners and participants in Harkness.

The students were able to further analyze the impact of these components on a classroom discourse. For example, Sabrina noted an improvement in her ability to articulate her ideas about education She continued to talk about the instances where she should actively analyze her role during a lesson, saying to herself I think that really helped me in my own learning and probably helped the discussion in the classes I was in. In other words, the participants developed an increased awareness of their roles during a lesson discussion, as well as greater understandings of the kinds of participation needed for discussions to be productive and democratic.

After class one day, Kim was obviously upset due to what happened within a classroom discussion I facilitated. It was not a very productive class, with many students speaking over one another, and I had to step in quite a few times to bring the discussion back to a productive place. Within my reflective journal, I wrote: I talked to her after class and she was definitely frustrated, and I wonder if she is now taking on ownership of trying to get others involved because of her sense of frustration [with her peers] or, is it because she is involved in the AR group and has taken on this leadership role for herself?

Although I experienced the frustration before, the action research opened a space for me to dialogue with my students and to reflect on something I had not previously focused on in my teaching. Kim Interview, This sense of frustration was, at that time, an uncomfortable feeling. However, it shows a sense of growth within the student, and their increasing desire and motivation to improve her own learning environment. It is also a representation of some of the frustrations the students were having within their everyday classroom experiences, even though they were trying to learn using Harkness.

Implications of this frustration and ownership of their own learning will be explored later in this thesis. The students would often leave the action research meetings with a new-found responsibility, which at times led to frustration, but also fostered a new appreciation for Harkness. In their initial recruitment survey, many of the students showed interest in research; the students expressed their interest in doing research in the future or were generally curious as to what research entails.

The ARG gathered data through surveys, conversations, observations, and analyzed data as a group endeavor. As Kate commented: This has really opened my eyes into the social sciences part of things and kind of looking at people from a different angle, cause when I first initially wrote the survey and like finished the questions I was thinking more of it like, I thought we were going to do research with like outside courses so kind of looking at things like psychologically and like what helps students learn best and that kind of thing It is my personal hope that this accessibility to research has allowed the members in this group to hopefully move to a post-secondary setting, get involved with research, and continue to share their voice if the opportunity arises.

The following section is a response to this theme and will tie in with key ideas raised in the literature. The opportunity to be critical about our learning environment, as well as ourselves as participants in Harkness, directly impacted both our performance and ideas about Harkness and education. The instances above outline ways in which students were able to grow as self-critical students, looking at their own educational experiences, as well as themselves as learners. The students also developed new skills within a research context and gained insight into the world of qualitative research.

Goodnough noted that having students involved in YAR provides an opportunity to grow on a personal level, as well as change their school and community. The ability for students in this action research to own the process of improvement of the school running Harkness development sessions , and to examine firsthand the problems and potential solutions, aligns with critical aspects of YAR Goodnough, There were many different utterances of students, either feeling that they were having their voices heard in the ARG or feeling the need to have their voices heard in the school and in their education.

The students mentioned many times they enjoyed participating in the action research because their voices were valued. I honestly think like just by having an action research group, that already was a huge step in its own. Kate Interview, Kate touches on something very important for the future of Harkness at the school and -- I would argue -- for education in general.

While student reflections are common pedagogical tools employed in education i. In contrast, the opportunity for them to express their own opinions and to hear the opinions of others, was valued by the ARG members. This can be viewed in excerpts from Nina and Kim: I liked everybody gathering together and we share our ideas about [Harkness], like our opinion on Harkness and how it impacts us and how we feel about it, and then using like what we know and our attitudes and opinions towards this thing to try to improve it. Kim Interview, 59 The ability for students to voice their opinions and be heard by their peers created a heightened level of excitement about Harkness and education.

As Kate explained: I also really enjoyed the atmosphere of this discussion as an Action Research group because as we were brainstorming the pros and cons, I felt very comfortable sharing my ideas and we were all so actively bouncing our thoughts on one another… the passion in the room was contagious and it was an awesome way to begin the project Kate Journal, The students found value in discovering how students outside the ARG also shared the same concerns and perspectives.

The group was able to identify problems and possible solutions, which contributed towards, and also constituted, the knowledge they developed through the action research. Through their reconnaissance efforts, the students were able to identify that improving Harkness skills and having their opinions heard were shared desires that students in the ARG and their peers had. As Kate noted in her reflective journal: I was surprised and of course happy!

Some of them are super interesting too, showing that students are way more passionate about Harkness than we originally thought. Kate Journal, 60 Recognizing they were not thinking in isolation, that other students and teachers were also thinking about developing Harkness and addressing issues helped motivate the group. We did not take the perspective of administration, or teachers, or education in general when tackling educational issues.

Thus, their opinions mattered. As a team comprised mainly of students and one teacher-researcher , we posed the questions, researched the problem, and attempted to find answers and solutions Goodnough, Worth noting is how these processes have always been at the core of integrating Harkness into our classrooms.

Indeed, students in this ARG had opportunities to exercise that power in the form of contributing their knowledge and implementing their own conceptualized action. The next step for a democratic classroom is illustrated through this process. Not only were the students seen producing the work action , but they also maintained this work through their own motivation and interest.

As modelled by Goodnough , I assumed a dual role p. I helped to facilitate the discussions when needed and offered the decision-making processes to the students to ensure they were feeling the democratic aspects of action research in an authentic way. Balancing this power by giving students an opportunity to be part of the problem identification and potential solution development, we communicate to the students that we, indeed, can work together to improve our school environment. There are often people speaking presumptuously on behalf of students Fielding, Thus, schools should continually implement ARG, such as the one in this study, to bridge the gap between what the school thinks is best for the students, and what the students think is best for themselves.

It is also noted in Rudduck and Flutter that students do not have much to say about curriculum, but they often talk about forms of teaching and learning they find challenging or limiting. In my opinion, this is the form of knowledge unique to the students, that they contribute to an action research discourse. Although it would be difficult to measure the impact of ARG on the school community at this point, we did uncover many important aspects about how students want to interact with the school community. They do care about Harkness, and they want to improve themselves and their classrooms.

Their desires strongly resonate with the theme explored here, the need to make explicit and to seriously involve students in the action research process. In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction for the improvement of Harkness at the school and will definitely lead to more questions and more research. They were also able to communicate on the areas of Harkness and the school which needed improvement.

These constituted the implications for the study, drawing from key experiences of the action research. In the view that the implications are also aligned with utterances that the student-participants themselves mentioned, I deviated from how implications are typically presented in research studies and included quotes whenever relevant, to enrich the discussion of the implications. Thus, collectively, the implications also embody the group thinking and reflective processes we engaged in. This chapter will summarize key aspects and insights that the ARG uncovered during the action research process.

It will cover issues beyond the classroom that the group identified, and our discussions of how we might address them. I also provide a discussion of how the potential future of action research at the school could include more voices and covering how action research could be employed to inform Harkness. There were some profound reflections in the student interviews and journaling that focused on how the 64 students felt about what the ARG accomplished.

This tension is felt directly by many of the students actively trying to collaborate in a discussion-based setting. These student-generated insights, emerging from the action research project, is consonant with assertions made by other action researchers where student perspectives guide our changing practices through action research, in order to ensure that the conduct and consequences of our 65 practices are more rational and reasonable see e.

Kemmis, McTaggert, Nixon, , p. In being action researchers, the student participants in this study were able to be self-critical, looking at how they can collectively transform their learning environment Kemmis, This insight has also allowed me to reflect on my own classroom environment, prompting me to think about: How often am I allowing competition to be the driving aspect of tasks?

When true collaboration is happening, what is the level of competition? How can we balance competition with collaboration? This will continue to shape the ways I approach assignment structures, classroom activities, and assessments. Another challenge that our ARG identified relates to our current research school having small enrolment, and many of the students spend countless hours in the same classes with one another.

Mark commented on this view: Implementing Harkness in a school like this should be able to maximize the exchange of ideas and discourse, both intellectually and culturally. However, as students move to older grades, distinct friend groups become increasingly clear. These groups are defined by common intellectual and extra-curricular interests, with some influence from cultural upbringings Mark Journal, In a larger school where more classes are offered, students could encounter classrooms with students they do not regularly interact with on a daily basis.

In SchoolA, most students are with the same cohort of students 66 within every class. This contrasted with our ARG where we mixed students from different grade levels, interests, and disciplines during the workshop; the fact remains that after the workshop implemented, students are expected to sit with the same group of people on a day-to-day basis and are expected to have deep conversations that would evoke multiple perspectives.

In other words, the effectiveness of the workshops our ARG ran could be limited by the existing organizational structures of the school. In this action research, we were able to uncover the cultural and social aspects that could hinder Harkness, such as competitive culture, students feeling overwhelmed by volume of work, parental pressures, and societal pressures.

Although we were not directly addressing all these aspects through our action research, we believe the action research sensitized us to these challenges. As Cammarota and Romero explained, through the process of PAR, we can start to promote community activism and empathy for others through personal changes which occur through involvement in action research p.

Framed this way, our action research is the start of a process of change. Within the same reflection entry, Mark offered some simple suggestions for teachers to consider. These included making seating plans based on knowledge of student friend groups, discouraging the use of rubrics that only count quantity of participation, and to include a broader range of students within the ARG. By extension, further action research could focus on tackling issues of cultural and social gaps in relation to Harkness in this context see Cammarota and Romero, , Goodnough, , Lind, , Smit , and to test student-initiated suggestions such as those from Mark.

However, if posed correctly and if the students see the value of engaging in action research, an effort could be made to integrate students into this collaborative endeavor. In this vein, including more students who reported a lack of success in Harkness may offer interesting insights. In future iterations, it would be recommended that the ARG would involve more adults administration and teachers.

Do School Libraries Need to Have Books?

Currently, students felt ownership over the action research direction and took the lead on many aspects of the ARG, including reconnaissance and research phases of the action research. By extension, it would be beneficial to include a different adult voice in the conversation. Indeed, Zeldin and colleagues underscored the importance of young people developing multiple relationships with adults, where the actions and division of labour are split amongst all participants and are not based on age, but rather, specific motivations and skills that individuals bring to the group p.

Although some dynamics may change, and potential conflicts may arise, the two adults could agree on their roles prior to joining the ARG and would necessarily share an understanding that the students need to be the driving force of the research problems. There were times, as the only adult in the room, the students leaned on my perspectives for guidance. Although there was a conscious effort noted in my journaling to allow students to 68 direct the research, there were times I had to make decisions for the group.

Alongside the wish of having more than one adult to help make the methodological decisions and to keep each other in check member checking , the excerpt above denotes my constant battle of wanting to spread the decision-making to the group. In my opinion, this is consistent with the importance of promoting democracy within the ARG. The ARG group also noted we need to include younger students into the conversations. It was initially my choice to only include Grade 11 and 12 students as they had the most practical experience in the Harkness classrooms.

It is fitting that the mentorship aspect related to this study came directly from the group with an apparent desire to encourage and mentor younger students in the school in how to be successful in the Harkness classroom. Perhaps mentorship within an ARG could begin as an initiating action, with students from the previous ARG sharing their experiences and offering advice to the students who joined the new ARG. Along this line of reflection of including younger students, I identified a limitation of the current action research study, as is related to the unfortunate consequence of choosing Grade 12 students for this ARG.

These students will no longer be part of the school culture and community the year after, and the skills and attitude they have developed towards Harkness are now being utilized outside of the school. Nevertheless, the students benefited from gaining new skills and perspectives, and the school graduated some excellent leaders and exemplars for Harkness. Upon reflecting on this limitation, I am considering how it might be beneficial to give younger students the opportunity to develop their Harkness skills through the AR, as suggested 70 by students in the current ARG.

Recruiting younger students has the advantages of being able to include their voices and opinions from the beginning of their time at the school, which can in turn shape their educational experiences and instill a sense of ownership over their learning. Moreover, as with the students in this study, these students might develop more holistic views of their own educational experiences, which contrast the narrowly-focused performance targets of traditional education Flutter and Rudduck, , p.

The younger student participants could also be part of the ARG for a longer period of time, which could consequently help to grow their attitudes and skills over a few years at the school, rather than only a few months before they graduate. This would also provide more opportunities for them to become leaders and influencers in their classrooms, and to contribute to improving student learning at the school.

As alluded above, the inclusion of younger students involves the issue of sustainability and succession, which has been discussed in previous action research studies such as Smit Both Smit and Fielding highlighted the importance of sustainable action research processes over 71 time. It reminded me of one of the most inspirational experiences I have had in working with Harkness, where my colleagues and I simply conversed about Harkness, much like we did in this ARG. Similarly, bringing eleven students together to discuss a problem over an extended period, working together for a shared goal, and to be able to sit back and observe deep conversations about learning, education, and youth-perspectives, were inspiring.

Working together with students towards a common goal brought a level of commitment and ownership to the group. These understandings were further strengthened as the students shared them with other students at the school via the workshops. This is consistent with how earlier studies have also demonstrated how action research could support learning, but a large portion of the literature focused on improving teaching rather than learning thus the focal point was on teachers rather than student participants.

For our action research to inform Harkness, I began distilling features of our action research critical to achieving this goal. A prominent attribute of our ARG was we had a shared end goal, which was described on multiple accounts and during the final meeting when the group was taking a final look at what we accomplished. The students felt the shared goal was important to their motivation and interest. This was noted by some of the participants April Interview, The importance of having a goal to work towards is also contingent on the group members, where the willingness to participate in the ARG might naturally select students who are more motivated.

This could have contributed to the success of using ARG to improve learning through Harkness. For example, some students, even in the ARG, held the view that Harkness, as 73 practiced in the school setting, is not effective in connecting curricular content with deep discussions. Conversely, they felt the ARG was an ideal environment for Harkness because Mark Interview, In my analysis, this interpretation of an ideal situation relates back to the Mirra et al. According to the students, there is a disconnection between the usefulness of a discussion-based classroom to obtain good grades, and the goals of using Harkness to promote deep thinking and learning.

In my opinion, grade-centered achievement could be related to economic success see Mirra et al. This disconnect raises questions of why students do their homework, take notes during class, or study for a test. Phrased differently, the authenticity of a democratic discussion suffers when the pedagogical aims are questioned.

As Rudduck and Flutter pointed out: Pupils are observant and have a rich but often untapped understanding of processes and events; ironically, they often use their insights to devise strategies for avoiding learning, a practice which, over time, can be destructive of their process. It will take work to build a climate both students and teachers can critique one another in ways productive to teaching and learning see also Rudduck and Flutter, , p. However, during the ARG, they could also encounter many strategies that could contribute to a positive class environment.

A limiting factor in this study, and what I anticipate would be a limiting factor in many action research groups involving high school students, is time. Limitations included the school year calendar, students being involved in many other commitments in the school, and students graduating. These limitations, all related to time, made it difficult to have a continuous action research program running over an extended period. As mentioned earlier, time could prematurely terminate an action research Smit, , despite being essential to the development quality of action research see Zeldin et al.

In my own reflections, I have theorized about the lack of time, where it suggests not only the lack of physical time, but the pressures of this constraint could affect the methodological decisions I made in the action research, guised as a tension between my role as a teacher and researcher. Overall, it was difficult at times to know when it was appropriate to push the group onto the next stage, or when to meddle in conversation for a while longer.

At times, it seemed like the group was stuck in not knowing when to make a decision to move forward. Yet, within this research, I needed to consciously take steps back and ensure they were coming up with the problems, and solutions, on their own. There were instances in my journaling where I debated this teacher-researcher tension.

When I stay steer, I think I am saying lots, but I am mostly asking questions. The conversation often feels as if its directed at me. This happened, for example, after our first observation analysis, and we were unsure of what the next stage would be. Without this space, we might have lost some of the creative ideas that could, otherwise, have been created. In reflecting now, maybe this desire for efficiency, mostly influenced by deadlines, hindered a more creative outcome.

Of essence is how the real limiting factor is time. Although I have set a goal to continue action research, it is also difficult to say if, in the subsequent efforts to run an action research project, it will be met with the same student and teacher myself commitment, enthusiasm, and effort that it had in the first year. Indeed, this is an issue of sustainability that has been raised in literature, often cited as a key aspect to continuing action research and truly making changes Kemmis, This comes from the ability to ensure these initiatives are both impactful for both the students and the teachers.

Collaborative teacher inquiry models, such as action research, could help teachers at the school to collaborate in supporting school initiatives, and in improving teaching and learning environments. Including more teachers in the process as discussed earlier , sharing the insights 77 knowledge dissemination, such as through this thesis , and continuing to collaborate with peers in education might encourage others to use action research.

Others might also be encouraged to explore ways to implement action research principles into their classrooms, as opposed to running action research outside of formal curriculum time. Implementing action research as the foundation of the research group allowed the students to take control of the direction of the research. Consequently, the students gained a deeper understanding of Harkness, research, and education. Allowing students to share in the research process to improve their school situation is a complimentary step in developing the Harkness culture at the school.

It is evident in the findings that their voice is an important part of this process, where the students appreciated when their opinions were valued and had many ideas to share about their educational experience. The goal of allowing students to talk about Harkness using Harkness was successful and with action 78 research as the complementary method, students were able to grow as individuals and help develop the school. They also helped to manage conversations and worked at contributing to a democratic classroom culture that is needed for Harkness to be successful.

The students were also able to have an authentic research experiences where they were involved in the cyclical, democratic decision-making process, involving action research-based data collection, analysis, recruitment, and culminating in action; the students engaged with all these processes with an overall goal of improving their learning environment and school culture.

Of significance is how they were able to see research in a new light and have an enjoyable experience, giving them an optimistic outlook on research for the future. The ARG was also able to continue to bridge the gap between teacher and student, which is a necessary part of democracy. Underscored through this action research study is how listening to what students have to say about their education will become increasingly important if we want to continue to push towards democratic teaching and learning.

What they think about how the classroom is set up, what they are learning, and why they are learning will become vital to having vibrant and engaging discussions. If we continue to simply force curriculum and dated activities into the Harkness classroom, students might continue to clash with Harkness and have frustrating experiences. The students were highly aware of what Harkness can be and have many ideas on how we can get there if teachers were willing to listen. Progress happened within all participants in the action research.

Reflecting on my overall experience of the action research project, being involved in this process has also allowed me to grow as a teacher. Working with these eleven students has offered me a glimpse into the perspectives of the students I work with every day in a way that is authentic and honest. In conversing with them once or twice a week about the problems they are having, the scenarios that they are finding success, their ideas for the future, and questions about research, I was able to learn about our community on a deeper level.

Sitting at the Harkness table and working on a common project added another dimension of democracy and collaboration neither the students nor myself experienced before. The dimension of a shared experience in the research was something we could not obtain during class, which continued to enhance the Harkness relationships with the students involved. The power dynamic within class is often grounded in the perceived ownership of knowledge, but within the action research, we were all seeking novel and unexplored knowledge together. However, the potential, maturity, and commitment of these students were beyond all expectations, and there is much potential left to tap in to.

In addition to this, being in a constant state of reflection through journaling, has opened another avenue for myself to develop as a teacher. Strategies to enhance my classroom, by putting the student experience above all else, have been gained from working with this group of individuals.

Continuing to run the ARG will allow both the staff and students at the school to have open communication and learn from one another. Slowly improving how we are using Harkness and why we are using Harkness in a way that brings both parties who are involved students and teachers can bring real change through authentic research and actions. Improving the Harkness culture at the school will be the focus of the ARG in the future. A diversity of voices, ensuring there are multiple adults and students, as well as different levels of comfort with Harkness will be a requirement.

Therefore, a different recruiting method may be needed. Students who are very opposed to Harkness, or who are really struggling in class, may help deepen current understandings of the challenges associated with Harkness. Teachers might also help to spread the student voice within the staff; in this ARG, their voice was limitedly communicated through me.

More research is needed within many aspects of this ARG. The potential to improve student skills, the movement towards democracy, and authenticity of student voice through an experience like this can continue to be monitored over an extended period.

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Action Research: A Practical Guide for Transforming Your School Library

True democracy in the classroom at this point is a lofty goal, will we ever be able to truly sit with students and learn based on their own interests if the goals of the teacher informed by curriculum is still in place? Will we see the effects of this ARG next year or will the progress we made be lost with the graduating students over the summer? I will be starting the recruitment for the next action research cycle starting in September There were times where I reflected and wondered if we really changed anything about Harkness.

I can now say though, this process of looking through what the group accomplished in a short amount of time was a defining time in my educational career. To see the progress the students made, as students, as researchers, and as people through our few meetings was exceptional.

In attempting to include students in the process of the research with a collective view to achieve positive change, we were able to form reciprocal relationships where, through this collaboration, we could all walk away from the process with an improvement in ourselves and start to think about how we can change the school. Giving students another opportunity outside of class to have an authentic voice was ultimately the goal.

Looking to the future, this goal will be the guiding light of action research at the school. To keep the conversation open whether in Harkness, action research, or any relationship should be the goal. Only though listening to other perspectives, can we truly start to learn. Kurt Lewin and the origins of action research. Educational Action Research, 1 1 , Balakrishnan, V. Using working agreements in participatory action research: Working through moral problems with Malaysian students.

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Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 2 , Brinkmann, S. Qualitative interviewing. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Participatory action research: Contributions to the development of practitioner inquiry in education. Educational Action Research, 17 1 , Burrows, A. Riding the wave: Student researcher reflection on the action research process. Educational Action Research, 20 2 , Participatory action research for high school students: Transforming policy, practice, and the personal with social justice education.

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Fielding, M. Students as radical agents of change. Journal of Educational Change, 2 2 , Student voice: Patterns of partnership and the demands of deep democracy. Connect, , Flutter, J. Consulting pupils: What's in it for schools? Pedagogy of the oppressed New rev. New York: Continuum. Fusch, P. Are we there yet? The Qualitative Report, 20 9 , Gillies, R. Developments in classroom-based talk.

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Educational Action Research, 18 2 , The Harkness genome project: The search to codify what makes Harkness, Harkness. Jane Cadwell Ed. Exeter: Trustees Philips Exeter Academy. Hogan, K. Discourse patterns and collaborative scientific reasoning in peer and teacher-guided discussions. Cognition and Instruction, 17 4 , Youth researching youth: Benefits, limitations and ethical considerations within a participatory research process.

International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 71 1 , How to develop children as researchers: A step-by-step guide to teaching the research process 1st ed. Kemmis, S.

Harkness and action research : activity and affect - UBC Library Open Collections

Introducing critical participatory action research. The action research planner pp. Action research as a practice-based practice. Educational Action Research, 17 3 , Science teaching as a dialogue — Bakhtin, Vygotsky and some applications in the classroom. The methodology of self-study and its theoretical underpinnings. International handbook of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices pp.

Lather, P. New York; Florence: Routledge. Laverty, S. Hermeneutic phenomenology and phenomenology: A comparison of historical and methodological considerations. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 2 3 , Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50 8 , The constructivist credo. The power of adolescent voices: Co-researchers in mental health promotion. What builds student capacity in an alternative high school setting? A history and context of self-study of teaching and teacher education practices.

Mager, U. Effects of student participation in decision making at school. A systematic review and synthesis of empirical research. Educational Research Review, 7 1 , Journal of Youth Studies, 13 2 , Marr, P.

What about me? Why triangulate? Educational Researcher, 17 2 , Encouraging classroom discussion. Teaching as learning: An action research approach. London; New York: Routledge. Metro-Roland, D. Hip hop hermeneutics and multicultural education: A theory of cross-cultural understanding.

Educational Studies, 46 6 , Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook Third ed. Mirra, N. Doing youth participatory action research: Transforming inquiry with researchers, educators, and students. The significance of students: Can increasing" student voice" in schools lead to gains in youth development? Teachers College Record, , Parker, W. Teaching with and for discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17 3 , Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 28 1 , Pupil participation and pupil perspective: 'carving a new order of experience'.

Cambridge Journal of Education, 30 1 , The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. London: Ashgate. The time is now for action research. Isr J Health Policy Res. Published Oct Arthur, J. Research Methods and Methodologies in Education. Los Angeles: Sage. An exhaustive and authoritative guide to research methods and methodologies, providing insights from a wide range of experts. Ottawa: Government of Canada. Duke University Mod. They provide concise and understandable explanations of principles in qualitative research.

Flynn, Tara et al This practical guide is based on the experience of more than teachers and 95 teams from across Ontario as well as 17 researchers who participated in Teachers Learning Together — a four-year collaborative action research initiative led by ETFO.


  1. The theory of pseudo-rigid bodies.
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Irwin, Bill. Toronto: Ontario Library Association. Available at The Library Marketplace. This book contains chapters written by a variety of contributors. The goal is to give library practitioners the necessary tools to measure the social, cultural, educational, and economic impact of their libraries. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Education.

This monograph provides an excellent foundation for understanding the power of collaborative inquiry, and practical advice in carrying it out. Dear Data. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. By exploring aspects of daily life through data collection and representing it visually, they discovered how data uncovers the unknown, and the power of context in understanding that data. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers 3rd ed.