I have learned that action research is different than educational research. It focuses on the concerns of administrators, as the people conducting the research, rather than the concerns of researchers from outside the school. Action research connects theory to practice. It allows me to pose a question or a “wondering” and collect data about a question. When I combine analysis of the data and related literature, I can take action or make changes based on the inquiry results. Since I am part of the research process, I will have a greater vested interest in the results and more likely to bring changes based on the results. Action research should be part of a normal routine of an administrator because it is a continuous cycle of reflection and action. This fortifies the best practices at the school.
I can use action research to be a role model to teachers and students. By practicing what I preach, I can be a “head learner”. Action research can be part of professional learning communities with other administrators. As an administrator, I can form leadership teams within my own school to further inquiry and have greater participative decisions for policies and strategic planning, and program coordination. I can use district meetings or professional development time to allow teachers and staff to share their own action research. By researching and answering burning questions, I can become even more proactive rather than reactive. Action research leads me to become more intentional with my actions.
Blog Use Analysis
Educators can use blogs to share ongoing thoughts and questions with both large and small audiences or just as an educational diary. Research can be shared with colleagues who are hundreds, even thousands, of miles away. It takes fleeting ideas or wonderings further than a moment’s thought. Inquiry questions, thoughts, and answers are logged in blogs for future reference. Blogs can capture presentations for people unable to attend. It can be a multimedia interactive diary of thoughts. Other people can comment and share insight or discuss questions or thoughts.