Short Guide to Action Research, A, 4th edition

Published by Pearson (August 17, 2011) © 2012

  • Andrew P. Johnson

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  • Field Experience examples for both professor and student are expanded. These easy-to-access examples incorporate real-world experience into the classroom setting.
  • Action research questions to use as ideas for projects are included at the end of each chapter in the book.
  • NEW! Website www.AR-Johnson.com features video mini-lectures for each chapter; examples of action research projects, literature reviews, action research proposals, and Masters theses; guidelines, additional information and video tutorials related to academic writing; a variety of downloadable forms, checklists, and data retrieval charts; links to professional development resources and expanded chapter content.
  • Chapter 5 contains new information related to writing a literature review.  Included here are step-by-step instructions that take you through all phases of action research including finding sources, note-taking, organization, drafting, using citations, and creating the reference page.
  • Chapter 6 contains a variety of new data collection techniques including conducting  email interviews, conducting online surveys, and using online platforms.
  • Chapter 9: Evaluating, Describing, and Proposing Research is new to this edition.  Included here are: (a) a general overview related to the use and misuse of research in education, (b) a description of the principles and definition of scientifically based research, (c) specific guidelines for evaluation of quantitative and qualitative research, (d) a description of an annotated bibliography, and (e) a description of a research proposal.  Two sample action research proposals are also included here.
  • Tips for reporting quantitative and qualitative data are revised and contained in one chapter (Chapter 10).
  • In this edition, all sample action research projects are found in the Appendix.  New sample action research projects are included.
  • NEW! Website www.AR-Johnson.com features video mini-lectures for each chapter; examples of action research projects, literature reviews, action research proposals, and Masters theses; guidelines, additional information and video tutorials related to academic writing; a variety of downloadable forms, checklists, and data retrieval charts; links to professional development resources and expanded chapter content.
  • New research questions for your action research projects are included at the end of each chapter. These will give you ideas for possible action research projects that you might conduct. Also, new tips to help you think of and formulate your own action research questions.
  • Chapter 5 contains new information related to writing a literature review.  Included here are step-by-step instructions that take you through all phases of action research including finding sources, note-taking, organization, drafting, using citations, and creating the reference page.
  • Chapter 6 contains a variety of new data collection techniques including conducting  email interviews, conducting online surveys, and using online platforms. Chapter 6 also contains tips for designing and conducting surveys. 
  • Chapter 9: Evaluating, Describing, and Proposing research is new to this edition.  Included here are: (a) a general overview related to the use and misuse of research in education, (b) a description of the principles and definition of scientifically based research, (c) specific guidelines for evaluation of quantitative and qualitative research, (d) a description of an annotated bibliography, and (e) a description of a research proposal.  Two sample action research proposals are also included here.
  • Chapter 10 has revised tips for reporting quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Chapter 12 contains a significant amount of new information related to academic writing and APA Sixth edition.  Included here is information related to grammar, elements of style, and guidelines for eliminating bias. 
  • Chapter 13 contains information related to presenting your action research.  New information here includes tips for planning a presentation, general platform or presentation skills, guidelines for creating effective handouts and PowerPoint presentations, and tips for creating effective online streaming video presentations.
  • Chapter 14 contains new information related to creating an abstract and additional examples of full Masters theses.
  • In this edition, all sample action research projects (including several new projects) are found in the Appendix. 
  • Chapter 1. SCIENCE, RESEARCH, AND TEACHING

    I. Science, Research, and Teaching

    II. Science

     1. Science and Pseudoscience

    II. Research

     1. Quantitative Research

     2. Qualitative Research

     3. Quantitative or Qualitative?

    III. TEACHING

     1. What Scientists and Teachers Do

    IV. Using Research in Education: Theories, Hypotheses, and Paradigms, Oh My!

     1. Theories and Hypotheses

     2. Paradigms

     3. Better Decision Makers

     

    Chapter 2. INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH

    I. Research in Action

     1. A Quick Overview of Action Research

     2. Descriptors of Action Research

    II. The Importance of Action Research

     1. The Gap between Theory and Practice

     2. Teacher Empowerment

     3. Teacher Inservice and Professional Growth

     

    Chapter 3. USING ACTION RESEARCH FOR SOLVING PROBLEMS

    I. FINDING THE PROBLEM

    II. FINDING SOLUTIONS

     1. Creative Problem Solving

     2. Means—End Analysis

     3. Problem-Solving Strategies in the Classroom

     4. Testing the Solution

    III. AN EXAMPLE OF ACTION RESEARCH AND PROBLEM SOLVING

     1. Finding the Problem

     2. Finding a Solution

     3. Testing the Solution

    IV. PROBLEM SOLVING AND INSTRUCTIONAL IMPROVEMENT

     

    Chapter 4. THE BEGINNING

    I. AN OVERVIEW OF THE ACTION RESEARCH PROCESS

     1. Action Research Steps

    II. FINDING YOUR RESEARCH TOPIC

     1. A Teaching Strategy

     2. Identify a Problem

     3. Examine an Area of Interest

    III. STILL HAVING TROUBLE STARTING?

     

    Chapter 5. REVIEWING THE LITERATURE

    I. REVIEWING THE LITERATURE

    II. SOURCES FOR THE LITERATURE REVIEW

     1. Academic Journals

     2. Books

     3. The Internet

     4. How Many Sources?

    III. STEPS FOR A LITERATURE REVIEW

    IV. CITATIONS

    V. THE REFERENCE PAGE

     1. Journals

     2. Books

    VI. A SAMPLE LITERATURE REVIEW

     1. Literature Review at the Beginning

     2. A Literature Review at the End

     

    Chapter 6. METHODS OF COLLECTING DATA

    I. DATA COLLECTION

     1. Systematic

     2. Data Collection and Soil Samples

     3. A Television Sports Analyst

    II. TYPES OF DATA COLLECTION IN ACTION RESEARCH

     1. Log or Research Journal

     2. Field Notes–Your Observations

     3. Checklists

     4. Rating Checklist

     5. Rubrics

     6. Conferences and Interviews

     7. Data Retrieval Charts

     8. Maps

     9. Artifacts: Students’ Products or Performances

     10. The Arts

     11. Archival Data

     12. Surveys

     13. Attitude and Rating Scales

     14. Online Surveys and Rating Scales

     15. Online Platforms and Class Journals

     

    Chapter 7. METHODS OF ANALYZING DATA

    I. ACCURACY AND CREDIBILITY: THIS IS WHAT IS

    II. VALIDITY, RELIABILITY, AND TRIANGULATION

     1. Validity

     2. Triangulation

     3. Reliability

    III. INDUCTIVE ANALYSIS

     1. Larry, Moe, and Curly Help with Inductive Analysis

     2. Case Studies or Representative Samples

     3. Vision Quest

     4. Defining and Describing Categories

     5. The Next Month

     

    Chapter 8. QUANTITATIVE DESIGN IN ACTION RESEARCH

    I. CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH

     1. Correlation Coefficient

     2. Misusing Correlational Research

     3. Negative Correlation

     4. Making Predictions

    II. CAUSAL—COMPARATIVE RESEARCH

     1. Whole Language in California

    II. QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

     1. Quasi-Action Research

     2. Pretest—Posttest Design

     3. Pretest—Posttest Control Group Design

     4. Time Series Design

     5. Time Series Control Group Design

     6. Equivalent Time-Sample Design

    III. THE FUNCTION OF STATISTICS

     1. Descriptive Statistics

    IV. INFERENTIAL STATISTICS

     

    Chapter 9. EVALUATING, DESCRIBING, AND PROPOSING RESEARCH

    I. EVALUATING RESEARCH

     1. Buyer Beware

     2. Scientifically Based Research

    II. EVALUATING QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

     1. Independent and Dependent Variables

     2. Confounding Variables

     3. Common Confounding Variables

    III. EVALUATING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

    IV. DESCRIBING RESEARCH

     1. Examples of Research Descriptions

    V. AN ACTION RESEARCH PROPOSAL

     1. Annie Oftedahl, Northfield, Minnesota

     2. Ann Schmitz, Garden City Minnesota, Mankato District 77 Early Childhood Special Education

     

    Chapter 10. REPORTING FINDINGS IN ACTION RESEARCH

    I. REPORTING QUALITATIVE DATA

     1. Tips for Presenting Qualitative Data

    II. THE IMPORTANCE OF STRUCTURE

     1. Structure and Inductive Analysis

     2. Using Headings to Create Structure

     3. Using Subheadings to Create More Structure

    III. CASE STUDIES OR REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES

     1. It’s Alive!

    IV. APPENDICES

    V. REPORTING QUANTITATIVE DATA

     1. Using Numbers

     2. Using Words

     3. Reporting Arithmetic Data

    VI. TABLES

    VII. FIGURES

     1. Graphs

     2. Other Visuals

     

    Chapter 11. DISCUSSION: YOUR PLAN OF ACTION

    I. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

     1. Christina Stolfa, Nacogdoches, Texas

     2. Jo Henriksen, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

     3. Cathy Stamps, Fifth Grade, Hopkins Elementary School

     4. Delinda Whitley, Mt. Enterprise, Texas

     5. Darlene Cempa, Whitney Point, NY 

    II. IMPLICATIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

     1. Morgan Chylinski, Jamesville, NY

     2. Karen Randle, Trumansburg, New York

     III.  EVALUATION OF THE STUDY

      1. Jim Vavreck, St. Peter, Minnesota

      2. Staci Wilson, Irving, Texas

    IV. DESIGNING A NEW PLAN OR PROGRAM

     1. Creating a New Plan or Program

     2. A Less Formal Plan of Action

     

    Chapter 12. WRITING AN ACTION RESEARCH REPORT

    I. TONE AND STYLE         

     1. Avoid Value Statements

     2. Extremely Objective

    II. PRECISION AND CLARITY

     1. Writing and Speech

     2. Avoid Speech-isms

     3. Avoid Non-Words

     4. Use Adverbs with Caution

    IV. REDUCING BIAS

     1. Person-First Language

     2. Exceptionalities

     3. Gender

     4. Sexual Orientation

     5. LGBT and Transgender

     6. Race and Ethnicity

    V. LENGTH

    VI. CLARITY

    VII. HEADINGS

    VIII. THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF STYLE

     1. The Basics of Grammar

     2. The Basics of Punctuation: Commas, Semi-Colons, and Colons.

     

    Chapter 13. PRESENTING YOUR ACTION RESEARCH

    I. THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

     1. Your Colleagues

     2. Your Students

     3. School Boards, Principals, and Administrators: Making a Case

     4. Your Classroom: Evaluating New Programs

     5. Parent Conferences

     6. As Part of a Master’s Thesis

    II. THE PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT

     1. Professional Conferences and Conventions

     2. Academic Journals

     3. ERIC

    III. LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

    IV. MAKING EFFECTIVE PRESENTATIONS

     1. Planning the Presentation

     2. General Platform Skills

     3. PowerPoint Specifics

     4. Effective Handouts

     5. Online Video Presentations

                   

    Chapter 14. ACTION RESEARCH AS MASTER’S THESIS

    I. BEFORE YOU START

     1. Nine Tips for Writing Your Master’s Thesis

        Tina Williams   

        Christine Reed, Educational Specialist Degree, Nerstrand Elementary School,  6. Nerstrand, Minnesota

        Jackie Royer, Master’s Thesis, Trimont Schools, Trimont, Minnesota

        Darlene Cempa, Whitney Point, NY 

        Karen Randle, Trumansburg, New York

        Morgan Chylinski, Jamesville, NY

     

    Chapter 15. STRATEGIES FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

    I. ACTION RESEARCH AND THE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHERS

     1. More Knowledge Please

     2. Process and Empowerment

     3. Online Professional Development

     4. Other Professional Development Opportunities

    II. OBSERVING YOUR OWN PRACTICE

     1. Best Practice

     2. Audiotaping Lessons

     3. Descriptive, Not Prescriptive

     

    APPENDIX - SAMPLE ACTION RESEARCH PROJECTS

    1. Alison Reynolds, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    2. Kay Dicke, Eden Prairie

    3. LouAnn Strachota

    4. Georgina L. Pete

    5. Teresa Van Batavia, Eisenhower Elementary, Hopkins, Minnesota

    6. Linda Roth, St. Peter School District, St. Peter, Minnesota

    7. Angela Hassett Brunelle Getty, Martinez, California

    8. Michelle Bahr, Shakopee, Minnesota

    9. Kim Schafer, Minnetonka, Minnesota

    10. Barbara King, Prairie Elementary School, Worthington MN.

    11. Annette Tousignant

    Dr. Andrew Johnson is Professor of Holistic Education and the Director of the Accelerated Teacher Licensure Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Here he specializes in educational psychology, holistic education, literacy instruction, and teacher professional development.

    Before moving into higher education he worked for 9 years in the public schools as a second grade teacher, wrestling coach, and as a gifted education coordinator. His most recent books include Making Connections in Elementary and Middle School Social Studies (SAGE) and Teaching Reading and Writing: A Guidebook for Tutoring and Remediating Students (Rowman and Littlefield).

    Dr. Johnson can be reached for comment at: andrew.johnson@mnsu.edu. For information related to workshops and professional development opportunities go to: www.OPDT-Johonson.com.

    Need help? Get in touch

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