Monday, April 14, 2008

Action research and taking charge

In his book Accountability for Learning: How Teachers and School Leaders Can Take Charge, Doug Reeves states:

that accountability has been reduced to test scores because teachers have not told their stories well. They have not told the tales of progress and reflection they witness and plan for every day.

Historically, as educational professionals, we have placed ourselves in discreet boxes, building four walls around our teaching, administrative, professional learning and curriculum development practices. These walls have been fortified to protect us from perceived review and analysis from those outside our boxes, those who don't understand the way "we" do things. We nurtured the notion that we were all experts, or artists, in our own boxes and couldn't learn from the novices in those other boxes. Research is showing us that we need to bring down the walls and collaborate across boundaries to ensure that our students succeed. We need to open our doors to analysis, experimentation, and reflection; reporting our results to colleagues and supervisors working together toward a common goal. (Reeves, 2004)

With effective progress monitoring and post assessment teachers can tell their stories and can become researchers in their own classrooms. After all, as Doug Reeves reminds us there are no mandates preventing teachers from participating in action research and measuring the success of their instructional decisions against the success of their students. Teachers can, and should, take the lead to examine those decisions in light of their students' learning. (Reeves, 2004)

These words I learned doing action research in my CFF class has taught me that there needs to be ongoing research that documents the positives in educational reform involving technology. Only through documentation and honest discussion will change happen.

Teachers have always known what works and in sense has done action research in their head. but it is important these days to leverage technology to provide a forum for open expression and discussion of best practices and movement towards effective technology integration.

Tags: Doug Reeves, action research

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