Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teachers' continuation of action research elements after conducting studies during a Master's program
by Barnes, Johanna S., Ed.D., University of South Dakota, 2013, 110; 3589862
Abstract (Summary)

Teachers are critical to student learning in the classroom, and just like students, teachers perform better when they are able to make choices based on what is relevant to them. Action research is a way for teachers to systematically inquire and reflect to make necessary improvements in practice for student learning. This study involved teachers who had conducted action research as a component of their Master's in Curriculum and Instruction program at one Midwest college. It examined teachers' perceived lasting benefits of conducting action research, the elements they continue to implement, and the supports of and limitations to continuation of the practice.

As part of a mixed-method study, a researcher-developed survey was first used. Seventy-seven teachers provided responses to the online survey. Fifteen survey participants volunteered to offer narrative elaboration of their responses in a follow-up telephone interview.

The compiled data included totals and percentages from the survey and themes and quotations from the teachers' narrative responses. Together, the findings revealed that 98% of the teachers felt they benefited from conducting action research. They perceived the greatest professional benefits of conducting action research to be thinking more reflectively, positively impacting student learning, and inquiring more about their practice.

Teachers were continuing to conduct action research based on the impact they perceived the practice had on their students' success in the classroom. The elements they continued most often were identifying a focus, collecting and analyzing data, and reflecting on the process. This practice allowed them to learn from evaluating the effectiveness of their implementations and realize there was rigor and relevance to what they were doing.

With 92% of participants desiring to continue action research, two major factors were given as greatest support for continuation. Teachers desired a combination of collaboration with peers on issues that mattered to them and time in the school day to collaborate and conduct action research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jacobs, Gera
Commitee: Avoseh, Mejai B.M., Gapp, Susan, Kindle, Karen
School: University of South Dakota
Department: Curriculum & Instruction
School Location: United States -- South Dakota
Source: DAI-A 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Teacher education, Continuing education
Keywords: Action research, Master's program, Teacher training
Publication Number: 3589862
ISBN: 978-1-303-28959-0
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