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.