A great deal of learning and education is completed through research. I can remember being in elementary school and having to do an independent research project. Grant it was not in my regular classes, but in my Gifted and Talented Class. Yes, it was pull out back then. Nowadays, it is in the regular classes more and more. Finding information is now at our fingertips with the internet, digital libraries and publications. Basically we would research a topic, give credit to the people that we read from and then presented to the whole class.
This week I have learned a great deal about action research. Action research is a systematic approach of gaining more information about a wondering or question you might have. It is a method to help solve problems. This differs from the traditional research method in that part of action research happens after all the research has been done. You put into, "action" what you have learned so far and then evaluate to see if it's working. If it's not working, you can come back to the drawing board and try something else. Action research involves the people affected in the process and is more proactive instead of reactive. It does not involve a third party that doesn't have a clue about the problem or is not directly involved with the situation.
I will use this approach to help solve any issues I may have in my classroom and as an administrator. Reflective practices such as writing in a journal will help me to stay focused on the situation. It can serve as a guide to see what the next steps are and also to evaluate and assess the situation after implementation. Having an action research plan for a situation shows that you are willing to do something and follow through and adjust or change as needed.