T10 Resources

1) The public schools in Austin Texas are using a research process recently promoted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This info chart provides a good description of the cyclic process of doing action research. Here is a short video in which Austin Principal John Roca from Menchaca school describes how action research is helping new teachers learn to teach:

At their school they use time as a marker of cycles. The teachers have 2 week check-in with their mentor teacher but this does not necessarily mean that the cycles are all two weeks long.

Visit improvement science in action and listen to Tony Bryk talk about it these "new" ideas. Test your understanding of action research- is improvement science the same or different from action research? I list it here as they are very clear on the value of cyclic, improvement. Their goal is not to get teachers to do a project but rather start them on a process of continual innovation.

Note the cycles of improvement increase in scope. It starts with the action research of one principal and then the learning extends as more principals and more school engage in the same process. So the teachers as well as the principals are doing action research.

You can also learn more about improvement science by watching Tony Bryk's short video and then exploring the resources on the Carnegie Foundation site.

2) A description of the cycles of action research by the Clark County School District might also help you think about the process of cycles. You can learn more about how they are using action research by exploring their action research site.

3) The University of Warwick shares this advice on cycles research

The Action Research Cycle

The action research cycle consists of four steps – those of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. Usually represented (and just as badly drawn) in a cycle, thus:
Action Research Cycle
Action Research Cycle
How you conduct these separate steps is up to you. Other parts of this site deal with the different methods ofobservation. The essential elements of these steps are that they are:

small – the idea being that the research is responsive to any findings that may occur, i.e don’t carry out a second action before you’ve had a chance to reflect on your first
practicable – an incredible innovative plan is no good unless you can implement it simply, and its effects are open to observation
inclusive – action research usually has not only catalytic validity, but is also accountable, disseminated to colleagues, and above all, shared by the people who are being acted upon and observed (i.e. tell your students what you’re doing and why). This is because the leading action research gurus have mainly also had a humanist agenda about social change and altruism. It’s not essential, but perhaps still desirable.
re-iterated – the cycle can be gone through as many times as is necessary, or until you run out of time.

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