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SYLLABUS
Action Research
Masters of Arts in Education
Nancy Harding

This course covers three terms and is divided into A, B and C

608A Self Assessment Seminar (2)


COURSE DESCRIPTION:
In this course, students work closely with a faculty advisor to complete a self-assessment, identify personal program goals for the Master of Arts in Education, and develop a plan for a one-year field action research project. The action research project provides the foundation for personal and professional growth throughout the master's program. This course is conducted in a blended format of 60 percent face-to-face and 40 percent online classes. Class meetings take place in two Saturday face-to-face sessions, followed by online discussions for ongoing advice and feedback.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Knowledge –
Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 A students will know:
  • language and thought are interactive processes;
  • the language of their profession
  • the concepts of collaboration, integrity and paradox in teaching and learning
  • the current literature on a related topic of their choice.

Skills – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 A students will be able to:
  • develop expertise in the local school community;
  • discuss the challenges of their work in a professional atmosphere using professional language; in particular their problem solving strategies
  • co-construct problem solving with peers and instructors to better serve the needs of their students;
  • bring their critical thinking skills into their classrooms and school community;
  • incorporate critical feedback into their work;
  • engage in problem solving and critical thinking in response to community specific situations.
  • write an annotated bibliography

Dispositions – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 A students will develop an ongoing understanding of:
  • their identity as a scholar practitioner through an exploration of integrity, faith and learning, courage, reflection, authenticity, curiosity;
  • what it means to be an educator and a scholar and teaching as a vocation;
  • that purpose, service, and leadership are part of a teacher’s daily experience in the community;
  • the challenges and necessities of being self-reflective about their work.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
An annotated bibliography on a related topic of their choice.


CONTENT OUTLINE:

Meeting 1:
Intro to the ABC Course Series

Discussion: What is Professional Identity and how individuals problem solve.
How do you assess different areas of your life?
How do you assess yourself?
Activities for exploring problem solving techniques in oneself.
Exploring problem solving methods used in your school or institution.
Parker Palmer DVD
Questions and Discussion
Finding a Research Question:
Group Activity
Moving from ‘I wonder or What if’ to developing a researchable question.

Assignment: Develop a researchable question that relates to something in your workplace and has great interest to you. Find some articles on your topic and bring them to class.



Meeting 2:
Discuss Problem Solving experiences and how you addressed them.
Parker Palmer DVD Part II
Where do you see yourself in the community in which you work and in the larger community of your profession?
What does community mean to you?

Introduction to APA style and annotated bibliographies
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
How do you know if an article is relevant and useful for your study?
Guidelines for choosing an article
Using one of the articles that you brought to class, write an annotation. Share with partner for feedback.

Assignment: Write an annotated bibliography with 8 to 10 articles and/or book chapters using APA format.







COURSE NUMBER: 608 B
ED 608A Self Assessment Seminar (2)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this seminar course, students continue to work closely with a faculty advisor to design, implement, and monitor their field action research project. Students meet with their faculty advisor and other students in two Saturday sessions and in a series of online discussions to share and discuss their project progress and professional program goals.


COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Knowledge –
Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 B students will know:
  • the language of the scientific method;
  • the principles and procedures that are used by researchers to develop questions, collect data, and reach conclusions.
  • the key research terms and vocabulary

Skills – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 B students will be able to:
  • develop a hypothesis
  • develop operational definitions;
  • identify a sample population
  • collect data from a small sample
  • design a method of finding out the answer to their research question
  • articulate and address particular problem solving strategies related to their topic
  • write a methods section

Dispositions – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 B students will develop an ongoing understanding of:
  • their identity as a scholar practitioner through an exploration of integrity, faith and learning, courage, reflection, authenticity, curiosity;
  • what it means to conduct a student in an ethical manner;
  • that purpose, service, and leadership are part of a teacher’s daily experience in the community;
  • the challenges and necessities of being self-reflective about their work.
  • Understand that schools are web of histories, knowledges, processes, and rituals and through the living of this complex web called “school” that teachers become at once social products and social producers (Sloan, 2006).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
An annotated bibliography on a related topic of their choice.

CONTENT OUTLINE:

Meeting 1:
Explore the intersection of Identity and Objectivity
Objectivity and Problem Solving
Problem Solving and Meeting Goals
Examine Research Question and Develop Hypothesis
View Methods Section PP
Write Operational Definitions
Explore on possible data collection strategies

Assignment: Create measurement tool and strategies for collecting data

Meeting 2:
What a methods section looks like and why.
Bring in measurement tool and strategies for collecting data to share with class.
Design data collection process.
Why details are essential for data collection-ethical implications
Test measure in class, get feedback, discuss.
Plan you need to contact to collect data and what you will say.

Assignment: Collect data a draft methods section



COURSE NUMBER: 608 C

COURSE DESCRIPTION: As the culminating seminar course, students complete and share the outcomes and reflections associated with their field action research project. Students continue to meet online with their faculty advisor and other students to share and discuss the progress of their project. Ultimately, students meet with their faculty advisor and other students during two Saturday seminars to share and discuss project outcomes, reflections, and implementation goals.


COURSE OBJECTIVES:
Knowledge –
Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 C students will know:
  • Multiple definitions and processes of assessment;
  • The difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • how to write a logical argument and not over generalize

Skills – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 C students will be able to:
  • assess multiple situations and choose the best course of action;
  • analyze and interpret results;
  • create a table and or figure to illustrate data
  • collect data from a small sample
  • write a reflection about their study that follows that format for a discussion section.
Dispositions – Through the activities and assignments in ED 608 C students will develop an ongoing understanding of:
  • their identity as a scholar practitioner through an exploration of integrity, faith and learning, courage, reflection, authenticity, curiosity;
  • what it means to write and reflect about research in an ethical manner;
  • that purpose, service, and leadership are part of a teacher’s daily experience in the community;
  • the challenges and necessities of being self-reflective about their work.
  • Understand that they are pro-active agents in their workplace and the skills learned in this class can be adapted to their daily lives.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
An annotated bibliography on a related topic of their choice.

COURSE RESOURCES AND MATERIALS: CHANGE
Palmer, P. J., (1998) The Courage to Teach Guide: For reflection and renewal. San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass

Ayers, W., and Ladson-Billings, G., (2001). To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher.
New York: Teachers College Press. ISBN-13: 9780807739853

CONTENT OUTLINE:

Meeting 1:
Bring Methods Section and Data to class.
Review Methods Section
Report on Data Collection Process
Share Problems encountered and solved
Write a brief paragraph describing your problem solving approaches

Discuss reflective Thinking Review Dewey
View Results Section PP
In groups, explore creating tables and graphs.

Create a table or graph for one of your data points
Create an outline for your discussion section.

Assignment bring draft of discussion section to next class

Meeting 2:
Writers Workshop for discussion section
Reading Aloud for discussion section with feedback

Discuss and develop Introduction to Action Research Paper

Students create Problems Solving Timelines for short and long term goals.

Assignment: All sections of Action Research Project are due at end of term to be ready to prepare for presentation preparation in 612.