The Joy of Action Research

Blog AR 17 LeAnne

Action Research are two words that add a bit of trepidation to our SMSU Teacher Candidate’s hearts and minds during their Junior Methods year. They hear the stories…but then, when they actually get to class and hear it and see it for themselves, they realize it has significance in their future teaching (well, that’s what I hope anyway 😉 ).

What exactly is action research (pay close attention to this, upcoming teacher candidates)? According to Richard Sagor (2000), author of Guiding School Improvement with Action Research, action research…

…is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action.  The primary reason for engaging in action research is to ‘assist’ the actor in improving and/or refining his or her actions (para. 2, chapter 1).

Or, to paraphrase in my own definition that I tell my teacher candidates…action research is finding issues that elementary students may be having with their learning; researching teaching methods or instructional strategies to help the struggling students overcome these issues; putting these research-based strategies into action; and finally, analyzing the data while hoping for a desired outcome.

Simply put, action research is making learning the best it can be for the students we teach so we can watch them grow academically.  All educators want this for their students. It brings us great joy to see our students succeed.

Yes, teacher candidates, I am joyful! I had the pleasure of seeing you succeed when presenting your action research findings at the 2nd Annual Education Action Research Conference held Friday, April 7 at the Schwan’s Regional Event Center on the SMSU Campus.

I’ve heard countless accolades about your professionalism during your presentations. I guess all of those IGNITE challenges paid off, didn’t they. 🙂 You certainly have grown professionally as well as personally over the course of the past 9 months in Action Research, and I applaud you for that!

To our colleague and friend, Professor LeAnne Syring, thank you for walking through that door of opportunity and kicking off our conference with your outstanding keynote. No lemonade for you, friend…just lemon meringue pie! 🙂

Blog AR 17 Group

One gentleman who attended our Action Research Conference wrote these kind, encouraging words in an email:

“…I wanted to let you know that it was a fantastic conference and tremendous success. I attended six different presentations on varying topics.  All were wonderfully presented and the research was applicable to everyone in the audience. Again, it was a wonderful morning and I am extremely glad that I attended!! I look forward to next year!”

Continue to grow and learn, teacher candidates, by using action research to assist you with any challenges you may face in your future classrooms. It will benefit your students, and it will make you top-notch teachers. And the bonus from here on out…you won’t have to write the 30+ page paper to go along with it. 😀

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(For more pictures, please check out our SMSU School of Education’s Facebook page)

Stay Calm & Research On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

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