My Blog List

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week #2- The Plan

Coming up with a plan for action research was tougher than I had anticipated.  Our campus is not perfect by any means, but I wanted to choose a topic that was realistic and one that would allow me to obtain supporting evidence and data.  I came up with several ideas and was able to meet with my site supervisor late last week.  Of the three ideas I had, we decided upon student attendance and how we could improve it.  Earlier this month I attended our Site-Based Decision Making Committee where we analyzed and made changes to our CIP (Campus Improvement Plant).  Student attendance was one area that we agreed we need to focus on.  Some ideas that came up were offering incentives and rewards to students that had perfect attendance.  We talked about how we could even get parents involved and motivated to send their children to school everyday.  I will be focusing on what motivates students to come to school as well as why students are not attending school regularly.  I also want to pay close attention to demographics, specifically students that are labeled as economically disadvantaged.  I hope that I can shed some light on the matter and perhaps come up with something that makes a difference on our campus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why Use Blogs?

How might educational leaders use blogs?  Well first off,  they use it for communication.  Our superintendent currently loves to blog.  He keeps us up to date on all sorts of different issues and topics that pertain to our district.  At times he is humorous, sentimental, or even sarcastic, but generally he blogs to keep us informed.  It has become something that we both expect and enjoy.  Blogging is a great communication tool.

Another reason educational leaders might blog is to share their knowledge or even offer insightful suggestions when something powerful has been discovered.  How wonderful is it to be able to share what you know and help better others? That's what education is after all.  Sharing knowledge is a wonderful gift.

What I've Learned About Action Research

This week I have learned what action research is all about and how it differs from traditional educational research.  Action research is the process by which a practitioner reflects on his/her own practices and becomes a problem solver; taking action by implementing a change based on what has been learned through the inquiry.  
The process of action research involves reflection of current practices and then finding a situation that needs improvement.  One must conjure up possible strategies that may resolve the problem, or help improve the situation at hand.  An action research plan can take several months or longer, depending on what is being studied and or tested.  It is important that data is collected throughout the process and analyzed to determine if what you are doing differently is in fact working to improve the issue.  Finally, the findings of the action research plan should be shared with other colleagues as to benefit everyone from the study.
I have also learned the major differences between action research and traditional educational research.  Where traditional research limits the practitioner’s role in the research process and is performed by “outsiders” to the school or classroom, action research involves the practitioner personally and allows the individual to actively seek change in a particular problem that is occurring on the campus or in the classroom.  Traditional research studies others from afar and is in essence, “process-product research.”  Through practitioner inquiry, teachers and administrators are able to make purposeful reflections on current strategies or practices, and find solutions that will result in improvement.
            Even with all of this information, I think I will learn a great deal more once I have initiated my own action research plan.  As with many things in life, sometimes we learn best from experience.


Dana, N.F.(2009).  Leading with passion and knowledge:  The principal as action researcher.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin Press.