Research in Science Education

Action Research in Our Science Classrooms

I am so excited by my newest discovery on the NSTA website! Who has participated in the Teacher Research Day at the national conferences? I stumbled upon them as I was reading an article about action research and how teachers across the nation are taking on roles as teacher-researchers in their own science classrooms (as a form of professional development). This could take the place of more traditional supervisory-observation evaluations of teacher performances and have more impact on teaching practices. I would love to see this thread become a resource for teachers interested in being a part of the process that informs changes in best practices and teaching strategies.
An article that might get YOU fired up too is called, Guest Editorial: Action Research—Expanding the role of classroom teachers to inquirers and researchers
Who has participated in the type of action research described in the article? I hope you will share here.
If you are interested in learning more about this and are attending the Indianapolis national conference, Teacher Research Day is Saturday, March 31, 2012. There are TWENTY-FIVE sessions to choose from! You can browse them by going to the NSTA Indianapolis Conferencepage and type in the key word “Teacher Research Day “ under the Search Events tab.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this exciting way to make a difference in how we teach science.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

And I am one of those presenting on this day! (I need a blushing smiley face.) The entire research project had a tremendous impact on how I teach. My research was on the 5E model - evaluating the use of 5E model in lesson planning to help improve student confidence, interest and academics in science. The entire process took almost a full year; I conducted interviews, surveyed, and gathered and analyzed data. It was an amazing experience! I am intrigued to see what other teachers have researched and their results. :-)

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

I am doing a bit of research now on standards based instruction.

Daniel Carroll
Dan Carroll
18550 Activity Points

If you have never done Action Classroom research and need a few pointers on getting started here are are few web resources http://oldweb.madison.k12.wi.us/sod/car/carhomepage.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVH0u4tUWo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZHvpgU7pc8&feature=related "Action research is the process through which teachers collaborate in evaluating their practice jointly; raise awareness of their personal theory; articulate a shared conception of values; try out new strategies to render the values expressed in their practice more consistent with the educational values they espouse; record their work in a form which is readily available to and understandable by other teachers; and thus develop a shared theory of teaching by researching practice." - John Elliott

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68525 Activity Points

How exciting, Sue and Dan. Sue, I will definitely look for your workshop in Indianapolis. Dan, I hope you will share your findings and the process when you complete your action research project. Pam, thank you for the websites and info about action research. I haven't had time to look at them yet, but I am wondering if any of the resources address the details of how to collect data, what kind of data to collect, how to analyze collected data, etc. If teachers are going to participate in active research, I would think it would need to be a "user-friendly" process. I am interested in the process one goes through to identify a problem or question, determine how to collect data, etc. Thanks, Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Wow--what a thrill to see action research recognized as legitimate research. I definetly plan to attend some of these if I get to go. Thanks for the heads-up!

Laura Jones
Laura Jones
9735 Activity Points

While action research may or may not be recognized in doctorate programs, it holds a tremendous value to practicing teachers. While I do not conduct the entire formal action research every year, I have included many aspects of the reseach into my daily lesson planning, so I can "feel the pulse" of the lesson and/or strategy. I conduct more frequent informal student interviews to ascertain confidence, interest and academic gains. Student bell work questions/responses help me gain daily insight into content material/process retention, and when I compare the responses to the previous day's lesson, I can begin to draw conclusions regarding the strategies used in class and recall/retention. I also keep a journal, in which I note problems areas and awesome teaching moments. So as you can see, my research changed the way I teach in more than one way...

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

How wonderful to see this enthusiastic response to our Teacher Researcher Day program at the NSTA conference in Indianapolis! Hope to see you there! Saturday, March 31, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm in JW Marriott Grand Ballroom V. If you are interested in participating in our 10th year Teacher Researcher Day celebration in San Antonio in 2013, please submit a proposal to NSTA as usual by April 15, 2012. Then send information about your proposed session (your name, institution, address, phone, email, co-authors’ names and institutions, PROPOSAL NUMBER, title, 25 word description, time requested (30 or 60 minutes), audio-visual request to Emily.vanZee@science.oregonstate.edu. After we organize a tentative schedule, we submit this to NSTA. NSTA makes the decision for acceptance of a session, or not, for the conference. Emily van Zee and Deborah Roberts-Harris

Emily Van Zee
Emily Van Zee
685 Activity Points

I am having success and plan on submitting a presentation for San Antonio.

Daniel Carroll
Dan Carroll
18550 Activity Points

Yes! I do not know why the deadline for the following year is so early, April 15, but please put together a proposal by that date even if you are not quite finished! Emily

Emily Van Zee
Emily Van Zee
685 Activity Points

Thanks for that information, Emily. Now that the Indy conference is a fond memory, we can set our sights on San Antonio! I just finished reviewing a book chapter that had some basic information about teachers as researchers to inform their practices. It mentioned action research, too. It is called: Using Research on Teaching to Improve Student Learning by William H. Leonard.
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Oops... I missed this opportunity to share at NSTA Indianapolis, but I am trying to figure out how to research/document the transition to using an eTextbook...and how it will affect the development of students' Media Literacy levels. Bianca

Bianca McRae
Bianca McRae
1760 Activity Points

Hi Bianca, Are you actually doing active research on this topic, or are you just looking for ideas on how to do this? Thanks for any clarification. Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Hi... I am looking for ideas... Any suggestions? Bianca

Bianca McRae
Bianca McRae
1760 Activity Points

I am thinking that would be a difficult study to collect quantitative data to analyze. I am using an e-Text now for one of my classes. Students only need help understanding "how" to navigate the website to find specific sections that are part of the course. Are there specific media skills that students can get better at with practice? Perhaps efficiency as measured by time might work for some skill sets. Students become more proficient at doing the same activity after practicing it a few times. For example finding and downloading resources - they get better at it after having done it a few times. Sue Hokkanen might be a good person resource to contact. I would suggest sending her a private message asking her to read this thread and offering any suggestions. She presented her action research project at Indy. Good luck. Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Bianca and Carolyn, Qualitative data can be difficult to collect, but not impossible. I used tools such as a "time on task" monitor/report to evaluate the level of engagement of the students. I also used student surveys, which I evaluated on a Likert scale quantitatively, and then evaluated qualitatively in the length of their reponses and within individual responses - the quality of the responses. The student surveys were completed every six weeks from the beginning of the school year to the end, and students were not required to put their names on them. The ideal would be to have a fellow teacher come in and write observational notes on what he/she sees going on in the room...students on task, off task, working, etc...someone objective that doesn't have to stop to help other students...someone that will not be distracted. Hope this helps! Let me know if you want more information or input...

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

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