Thursday, September 26, 2013

Action Research 4 month Update.

The action research is underway but a little behind the schedule I posted.  The first six weeks of school have consumed me to say the least.  It is a good thing I plan for such and I still have some wiggle room.  I have distributed surveys and have received all of them back they are sitting on my desk staring at me every day. 


I have received a huge boon to my project!  It seems that The Director of Special Education Professional Development for my district, Shelly Bratcher. is working on a similar project.  She is working on developing co-teacher relations and has created a fantastic program to help those that are struggling to find a way to work together.  It is a three hour long course that even includes a one-on-one component for those teaching combinations that we have deemed “red lights”,  relationships that are completely dysfunctional, and in need of serious “marriage counseling”.  The hope is to get them to at least a “yellow light” and to get the yellows to “green lights”.  So not only do I have data to collect from my campus but I now have data to use from across the district as well as a very comprehensive professional development course that is geared specifically to my action research.  This was a complete accident but demonstrates the need for such research.  Ms. Bratcher is happy to help and completely willing to share data with me.  We have a meeting planned to share information and help me make adjustments to my plan. I don’t think things could have worked out any better.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Action research plan progress week 4

I made some revisions in my plan (in red below) but not to much was needed.  The two people I have mentoring me on my project (an associate principal and the district SPED Professional Development Director) are both supportive and wiling to help me in any way.  As luck would have it, The district is trying to roll out a similar project to improve co-teacher relationships.  I had no idea this was happening until I met with the SPED professional development director and she explained her project.  The fact that both of us recognize the same need independently is, in my opinion, a sign from higher up.  I am excited to see this thing through!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Action Research Plan

Action Research Plan
Goal: Improve relationships between regular and special education inclusion teachers to affect student performance.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Read related research and collect qualitative data regarding relationships between co-teachers.
Robert Scott
June-July 2013
August 2013
  • Computer for online research.
  • Relevant journals and articles
List of potential actions and strategies to implement
Design survey to give to teachers at beginning of year.  Should include perceptions of co-teach in general and specific personal experience as well as EOC failure rates.
Perceptions Benchmark #1
Brent Scott
August 2013
Previous surveys done at other districts.  Survey Monkey
Qualitative data
Student performance data
Develop a list of co-teach professional development available in the Lubbock area.
Brent Scott, Kathy Rollo
June-August 2013
Lubbock ISD Director of Professional Development. Region 17.
List of professional development
Conduct Meeting to introduce co-teach staff to the project and vision.  Give surveys
CHS Inclusion Staff
August 2013
Meeting location. Surveys
1 hour
Returned surveys and list of professional development ideas from the group.
Collect student performance data on district benchmarks for the first six weeks.  This will serve as data benchmark #1 for project analysis.
Brent Scott
End of 1st six weeks
Special Education student benchmark performance data.
Co-teachers will attend specific inclusion professional development and complete a course evaluations
CHS Inclusion Staff
August-November 2013
Substitute teachers
District Staff Development dates
Course completion certificates and evaluations
Collect Student District Benchmark Data for Project Benchmark #2
Brent Scott
End of Semester #1
Special Education Student Benchmark Data
Meeting with Co-teachers to  discuss semester 2 ideas and adjust project vision if needed
CHS Inclusion Staff
End of Semester 1
1 Hour
Meeting Location
Brainstorming list.
co-teachers will attend specific inclusion professional development and complete a course evaluations
CHS Inclusion Staff
January-April 2014
Substitute teachers
District Staff Development dates
Course certificates and evaluations.
Collect Student Benchmark Performance Data to serve as Project final benchmark for analysis
Brent Scott
End of 6th six weeks
Special Education Student Performance Data.
Give the same survey to teachers which was given at the beginning of the year for comparison analysis.
Brent Scott
May 2014
Surveys and Survey Monkey
Completed surveys
Complete Data analysis and draw conclusions of effectiveness of inclusion professional development
Brent Scott
May-August 2014
Student Data
Perception surveys
Professional Development Data
Spreadsheet and graphs of analysis.
Present report to Administration and relevant teaching staff.  Discuss effectiveness/ineffectiveness of project.
Brent Scott
August 2014
Final Report


Format based on Tool 7.1 from Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools

(Harris, Edmonson, and Combs, 2010)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week 2 Action Research Reflection

Well, it certainly has been a busy week of learning and I'm honestly not sure what I got out of it.  I have always been a problem solver and never really thought too much about how I was going about doing it.  It just sort of happens.  Perhaps the the most difficult thing about this leadership endeavor has been the reflection.  Thinking about what you have been thinking about is really difficult.  One is always listening to that inner voice but how many of use sit down and have a really serious conversation with it.  So what have I learned about action research?   It is a systematic way of looking at and solving problems.  It is useful in multiple contexts.  I can be done individually in order to improve personal practice or it can be used collaboratively to improve student/campus performance.  Action research is different from traditional research in that it's purpose is to solve a problem or improve instruction as opposed to adding new information to a field of study.  It can be duplicated on different campuses and have drastically different outcomes.  It is an essential part of today's teaching field where overall accountability drives every aspect of our careers.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Educational Leaders Might Use Blogs
The use of blags by educational leaders is a great way to share and and gain new knowledge with people.  Blogging allows others to view and comment on a leaders "method of madness".  It this way a blog has the potential to become a virtual professional learning community where the bar can be raised on student achievement.

Action research is the foundation of improving self, school and student performance.  It is a systematic approach to investigating problems or “wonderings” that occur in the lives of educators, administrators and school districts alike.  It can be an individual undertaking, a self-paced professional development based on reflective inquiry, but it is best applied to collaborative efforts such as educational teams or Professional Learning Communities.  Unlike traditional research which is usually geared towards developing new ideas and carried out by persons outside of a school/district, action research serves to solve problems or improve performance and is usually carried out by practitioners such as teachers or administrators within the unique setting of their own school/district.   

Action research has great benefit in an educational setting.  The benefit of action research is dependent upon how involved practitioners are in its implementation.  It encourages reflective practice and helps build bonds between team members and principals. It is an ongoing collaborative project and, in this way, action research helps the practitioner take ownership of changing culture.  It promotes a climate of shared vision and student improvement based on the collection of data, reflecting on that data, making an action plan, taking action, assessing the results of that action and adjusting or maintaining the plan to continue building on improvement.