Essential Question 1

What is classroom research and how can it improve teaching and learning in my classroom?

To answer the first part of this question classroom research is the process of investigating and collecting data pertaining to certain specific aspects of teaching practices.  Research involves forming a guiding question first about a concern or issue a teacher has.  then over time, the teacher/researcher uses various methods such as observation, interviews or testing to collect data.  Data analysis occurs next, where the researcher intends to understand what information from the data tells.  Lastly, the researcher creates a conclusion based on the data analysis.  The conclusion is where the teacher/researcher is able to decide how to use the information and analysis that has been gathered through the research process.

 

Research can improve learning and teaching in classroom in a few different ways and for a few different reasons.  First off doing research is a form of reflection.  It demonstrates the fact that the individual realizes there is room for growth and change in their practice, which is always a beneficial mindset for an educator to maintain.  Additionally, classroom research gives a teacher insight into specific things that are happening class, that might otherwise be overlooked.  It gives the teacher the opportunity to analyze their practice objectively and make real, powerful changes in their classroom.

I have never done a research project based on my practice before, but I have done other projects and activities that forced me to take a close looks at a very specific part of my practice in previous courses I’ve taken.  The process was very enlightening for me and I was able to see some very specific strengths and weaknesses in my teaching.  I expect, and hope, that after I complete the research project I will feel the same way.

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6 thoughts on “Essential Question 1

  1. rockislandtechie says:

    Reading your blog I was reminded that having a specific focus for action research can help me to zoom in on an issue that I might otherwise overlook or generalize within the larger context of my program. I try to be objective when analyzing my work and practice but I know from experience that I usually do that better when I am part of a group that I can report on my research and gain feedback from others. I am looking forward to that type of interaction from others so their experience can inform my research process as well.

    Did you already have a topic or several ideas for your project?

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    • I agree that working with peers and receiving feedback from other professionals can be beneficial, lots of times they notice things that I don’t! I don’t have a specific idea for my project yet, still working on that!

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  2. I agree with you that research often leads to in-depth reflection of one’s teaching practices. You mentioned that you had done other projects that had forced you to take an in-depth look at your teaching. What kinds of projects were these? I am always looking for ways to improve my practice, but feel like I don’t have time to do multiple research projects.

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    • In the EDRE 677 course last semester we did a few coaching cases where we video taped a few different portions of us teaching and worked with a partner/coach to analyze and improve specific aspects of our practice. It was a very enlightening experience!

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  3. Great post! You are right, classroom research does make us reflect on our teaching practices and make specific and data driven changes. I am sure this project will be enlightening for all of us!

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  4. hmdavis2013 says:

    I loved your comment about how doing research was a form of reflection. That is so true. If we didn’t care to improve our teaching or our students learning, we would just do things the same way all the time. Classroom research is a way to continue to improve and show that we care. It gives us an opportunity to really think about our classes and what is going well and what could be improved.

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