Doing Action Research: A Guide for School Support Staff by Claire Taylor

By Claire Taylor

Introduces the fundamental ideas of motion learn and demonstrates tips on how to establish a subject matter, layout and perform a plan of action, and assessment its influence.

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Pupil talk? Teacher activity? Social interaction? Recording Schedule? Will I invent one myself? Will I use pen/paper? ICT? Tape? Video? Where? Own class? Other class? Outside? Staff room? Will it be disruptive? Problems Observing may be intrusive – what problems do I anticipate? Supplementary information Will observational data alone be sufficient? What other evidence do I need? Data processing Are the data quantitative or qualitative? What processing and analysing techniques will be appropriate?

She then analysed her findings. Louise has perceptively assessed strategies in use, and told a ‘story’ that is useful in this small case study. In order to have done this, she was looking for incidences of strategies that she had ‘named’ as a result of learning about them. For instance: ● ● ● counting on using a derived fact partitioning and recombining. QXD 24/8/06 46 14:59 Page 46 DOING ACTION RESEARCH Child A is in the highest ability group and showed a good range of strategies, although, perhaps, she did not always pick the most suitable.

There may also be very practical and ethical considerations about which method to use. These could include time, cost and problems of access. In addition, it is essential to assess the extent to which forms of data collection are reliable and valid. QXD 24/8/06 30 14:59 Page 30 Doing Action Research Reliability ‘Reliability is the extent to which a test or procedure produces similar results under constant conditions on all occasions’ (Bell, 1999: 103). In other words, for a data-collection method to be reliable, we would expect it to give us the same results whether something was measured today, yesterday or tomorrow.

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