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Action Research: Professional Development as a Tool for New Teacher Retention

Posted by Hope Scott on Thursday, July 15, 2010 Under: Action Research
Action research, according to Dana, is intended to bring about change of some kind (Dana, 2009). Action research could be used to find "best practices" for a particular school or district.  Action research is not one size fits all: it is unique to the school or district completing the research. Research should involve input from all stakeholders in the school district.  This includes principals, new and veteran teachers, parents, students, community, and district level administrators. I love the analogy used in Examining What We Do To Improve Our Schools of a principal's quest to get healthy. Action research must involve the steps a physician takes to diagnose and ultimately help a patient to health, namely, a systematic approach to improvement (teacher retention) based on the process of inquiry and use of diagnostic data from multiple sources (Harris, et.al., 2010). The change should involve ways to improve test scores, innovative ways to encourage and motivate students and teachers, ways to instill school pride (which is a little low at our school), and ways to use professional development to help new teacher retention.  My action research will seek ways to improve new teacher retention.  I feel that new teachers need more than a few days of training in isolation from other teachers on campus.  I also feel that all teachers need access to training material, be it at school or at home, if they need to re-visit a topic. 

Blogs are an excellent source of sharing ideas.  Blog creators reach an audience that may not be reached on campus.  Blogs can be created and shared from the comfort of the bloggers home or school.  A blog would be an excellent way for new teachers to feel connected to what is going on at school.  They can read how teachers deal with issues and even share concerns.  I think blogs are excellent tools for principals; it allows them to be reflective.  Principals and teachers can use blogs for announcements, for encouragement, for tips, the list is endless. 

Inquiry is an important part of action research.  I can take charge of my own growth and development throughout this process.  According to Kettering, "Essentially research is nothing but a state of mind, . . . a friendly, welcoming attitude toward change, . . . going out to look for change instead of waiting for it to come to you (Kettering, in Boyd, 1961)(Dana, 2009, p. 30).  Wonderings in action research come from real campus observations and dilemmas.  These wonderings will shape the inquiry which will ultimately shape my action research.

Dana, Nancy Fichtman (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action Researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Harris, S., Edmonson, S., and Combs, J. (2010). Examining what we do to improve our schools: 8 steps to improve our schools. Eye on Education Press.
Ferrance, Eileen. "Action Research." 
Themes in Education (2000): 41. Web. Retrieved 15 Jul 2010.  http://www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/themes_ed/act_res

In : Action Research 

Tags: "nancy dana" "leading with passion and knowledge" "examining what we do to improve our schools" "harris  s.  edmonson  s.  and combs  j." "eileen ferrance" "action research" "new teacher retention" lamar edld "educational technology" 

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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