Sunday, December 16, 2012

Action Research Notes

This week I got a lot feedback regarding the project I am researching. After meeting with my advisor, he suggested that I add certain details to my plan. I needed to consider who my research would impact and how I would implement the research effectively.

What I'm finding is that action research can become very lugubrious. I really am having a difficult time imagining that an administrator would realistically be able to use action research in their daily work considering how demanding the process is. Perhaps that is the view as a student learning the process. I hope that I can see the process as more useful as I move forward.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Action Plan

Action Planning Template
Goal:Improve the use of technology in Alternate Curriculum
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources

Create Survey

Christopher Brannen
Survey Questions
Review IEP’s
Christopher Brannen/ AC Teachers
Student IEP’s
Review IEP’s for potential technology enhancement
Analyze Data

Christopher Brannen/AC Department Teachers
Data Collected
Teacher review of data


Christopher Brannen
Teacher reviews, completed data
Review gathered information


Christopher Brannen
Professional development ideas
Participant survey

Monday, December 03, 2012

Week 2 Reflections (Action Research)

It seems that no matter how much you think you know about a subject, there is always more to learn. After week 1, I was beginning to wonder why this class is five weeks long! Now I see that action research really is a different animal than your normal academic research.

Doing action research is like being a Doctor where as doing academic research is like being a mechanic. While I research in my school it has to continue running. I can not shut down the engine, make my repairs, and return the car to its owner. I have ownership of everything I research and the education process cannot stop.

I also discovered that action research is not just about other people, but it is also about researching my own performance and finding ways to improve. I read that in week 1, but to be honest it did not really set in until this week. When I was reading the text for this week, I was struck by the section where it talked about reviewing your own professional performance. The research questions in that section were very poignant  It made the point to me that so much of education is all about. Namely, this:

The best teachers are lifelong learners.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Action Research

Action research is a way for educators critically consider issues and propose solutions. Much like a human, a school is a complex organism. The administrator is the head of this beast. The administrators role as disciplinarian, peacemaker, bargainer, and community activist could easily take up all of their time. However, their most important role is as an educational leader. Action research is a good way to help them to juggle the various pieces of their work.

Action research starts with reflection. An administrator will reflect on their decision making, policies,  or issues in the school. They will identify the issues in the area they are reflecting on. They will then gather data and input about the problem from those involved. They then can research the issue and propose potential solutions.

I look forward to learning more about action research and engaging in an action research project. I have never engaged in a research project in this style. At my school, tardiness is a huge issue. I am hoping to understand the depth of the issue, how it effects test scores and student performance, and presenting some potential solutions. Based on what I already know about the issue, I am thinking that technology may offer a potential solution to the issue.

Action Research... In Action?

Educational leaders can use action research to tackle any number of issues from tardiness to low test scores to how best to run the athletic department. There is really no limit to where the process of action research can take you. I imagine that I will use it primarily in figuring out what kind of curriculum would work the best, how technology can enhance it, and the best ways to implement said curriculum.

One excellent way to keep up with the educational leadership is to create... a blog! Blogging is a way to allow teachers and other stakeholders constant interaction. Blogs are marketplaces for ideas and have the added benefit of creating community which is always a plus for educators. 


  • Dana, N. F. (2009). Adminstrator Inquiry Defined. Leading with passion and knowledge the principal as action researcher (pp. 2-7)(pp. 20-25) . Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press, a Joint Publication with the American Association of School Administrators.