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EDU 695 Week 1 Assignment Why Educators Should Do Research
Why Educators Should Do Research.Educators need to conduct research in order to make effective decisions about student learning and student achievement. In addition, teachers must be reflective about their practice in order to make appropriate changes and accommodations, especially for diverse student populations. Complete both parts of this assignment:
Read the following articles about being a reflective practitioner:
- “The Articulated Learning: An Approach to Guided Reflection and Assessment”
- “The Role of Reflection in the Differentiated Instructional Process”
Using information you gathered from the articles, provide an analysis of the following questions: What does it mean to be a reflective practitioner? Why should teachers be reflective? How would you describe yourself in regard to being a reflective practitioner?
Provide an evaluation of this question from Barth (as cited in the Phelps, 2008): “How much are you prepared to risk of what is familiar, comfortable, safe, and perhaps working well for you, in the name of better education for others?” Reflect on current practices and how you can be a reflective change agent. Think about the following questions: How will you use research to improve your practice in order to facilitate student achievement? What two areas of practice in your educational environment do you think need researching and why?
You must include one scholarly resource in addition to the required articles. The paper must be cited in proper APA formatting and must be three to four pages in length, in addition to the title and reference pages.
EDU 695 Week 1 DQ 1 Vision for Teaching and Learning
- Vision for Teaching and Learning. Teachers have a powerful role in the classroom and larger school community. School teachers, administrators, and educators/ trainers make hundreds of decisions a day; these decisions affect many people. As such, it is important for educators to ground their decisions in research and in a vision. In this course, you will learn how to make data-based decisions based on action research principles and apply many of the principles of your MAED program. But before you can do that, you must explore, reflect upon, and solidify your own beliefs about teaching and learning, especially for diverse student populations. This vision will continue to evolve and will continually be refined as you gain more experience and practice.
Read Phelps’ article entitled, “Helping Teachers Become Leaders.” Compare his statement with at least two vision statements that you find via a Google search. In the discussion forum, create your own vision statement. Phelps provides an example in the article. As Phelps (2008) suggests, go beyond mantras such as “all students can learn.” The heart of your vision should address an educational dilemma in a diverse learning context. For example, a possible dilemma in the mantra “all students can learn,” is that there are teachers who believe that some students do not learn which is indicative of a “one size fits all” type of teaching. Your vision statement will address a problem you see in education and describe how you choose to solve that problem. Reflect on how your beliefs will influence your classroom practices. As Phelps indicates,“Formulating one’s vision in writing makes its achievement more likely” (p. 120).
EDU 695 Week 1 DQ 2 Role as a Teacher-Leader or Teacher-Researcher
- Role as a Teacher-Leader or Teacher-Researcher? Read Phelps’ article entitled, “Helping Teachers Become Leaders.” In this discussion forum, you will reflect upon your own leadership skills. Choose one of these options (You can respond to both and/or synthesize your thinking around both concepts in order to further advance your thinking.):
Option 1: According to Danielson’s framework (as cited in Phelps, 2008), what are the three areas of teacher- leaders’ influence? For each area, describe your leadership capacity. Which area do you see as your strength and why? Which area is your weakest and why?
Option 2: According to Lieberman and Miller (as cited in the Phelps, 2008), what are the three main roles of teacher/educational-leader? For each role, describe your own leadership capacity. Which role fits you the best and why? Which role is most foreign to you and why?
EDU 695 Week 2 Assignment Instructional Problem Research Question
Instructional Problem/Research Question. The most difficult part of a research project is generating the research question. Think about your vision statement as well as your capacity and potential as a teacher-leader/teacher-researcher. Use these current understandings about yourself to think about how you want to improve your teaching, classroom, and/or school/work setting.
According to Moss and Noden (1994), classroom teachers who decide to investigate questions that they have generated about teaching and learning engage in action research when they raise questions about their practices, test out assumptions, and evaluate the results. Action research gives educators an opportunity to reflect, make connections, and better understand what they are doing.
For this assignment, you will develop your own research question for a topic in your MAED specialization. (This will be a part of your Final Project.) You will decide on what you would like to focus on in order to change instruction and/or improve learning in your classroom. Your research must address diverse learning environments.
The following activities will support you in generating a research question:
- Complete the following tutorial: The relationship between the research questions, hypotheses, specific aims, and long-term goals of the project.
- Watch Creating a Research Question.
- Read the article, “Inquiring Illinois Teachers Want to Know: Action Research Questions From the Field.”
In your written assignment:
- Identify a general topic in your MAED specialization.
- Describe a problem that you are having or foresee having in regard to your identified topic. (Describe the
context of your educational setting and/or classroom including student demographics, grade, subject, etc.)
- Explain how you know this is a problem (e.g., describe student evidence).
- Describe why you want to study this problem.
- List three potential research questions addressing your problem. (In thinking about the research question,
you want to think about ways you can improve or change your practice.)
EDU 695 Week 2 DQ 1 What is Action Research
What Is Action Research? Read the following articles about action research:
a. b. c. d.
In this a.
b. c. d.
“Action Research Fosters Empowerment and Learning Committees”
Themes in Education: Action Research
“Supporting Technology Integration Through Action Research”
“Practical Strategies for Facilitating Classroom Teachers’Involvement in Action Research”
discussion forum, answer the following questions:
What is your definition and/or understanding of action research? What are the benefits of and barriers to action research?
Do you see the value of conducting classroom-based inquiries? What are three questions you have about action research?
EDU 695 Week 2 DQ 2 What Does Action Research Look Like
What Does Action Research Look Like?Complete both parts of this prompt,
Part One: The studies listed below provide examples of various action research designs and projects. Read at least one of these studies. Then, identify the research question, the participants, the data methods, and at least one implication/significant finding.
- “Action Research in the Classroom: A Process that Feeds the Spirit of the Adolescent”
- “Using a Participatory Action Research Approach to Create a Universally Designed Inclusive High
School Science Course: A Case Study”
- “Boys and Reading: An Action Research Project Report”
- “Teaching and Learning Evolution: Testing the Principles of a Constructivist Approach Through Action
- “Action Research in the Classroom: Assisting a Linguistically Different Learner with Special Needs”
- “Action Research in the Secondary Science Classroom: Student Response to Differentiated, Alternative
Part Two: Find an example of an action research project pertaining to your MAED specialization using a database from the Ashford University Library (e.g., EBSCOhost, ERIC) or Google Scholar. Identify the research question, the participants, the data methods, and at least one implication. You can use this article for your“Critical Reviews of Literature” assignment in Week Three.
EDU 695 Week 2 Journal Personal Reflection
Personal Reflection. Reflect on one of the following three sentence starters:
- In my classroom, I tried to promote student learning by [implementing]…
- In thinking about my future classroom, I want to promote student learning by…
- I would like to improve education by…
EDU 695 Week 3 Assignment Critical Reviews of Literature
Critical Reviews of Literature. By researching the current literature, you will have a better understanding of your context of the question or problem you are considering. A literature review is a critical, in- depth evaluation and summary of previous and current research. It establishes why you are pursuing a particular research study and validates your wanting to do so. You are evaluating the quality and findings of studies in a way that supports your own research. As such, you want to be critical of the credibility of the sources.
Create an annotated bibliography of five research articles from peer-reviewed or scholarly sources about empirical studies that relate to your topic as defined in Week Two. You will be able to use this assignment to write a literature review for your Final Projectt. Provide an examination of each article for its relevance to your study. You must include a clear connection between how each article relates to your topic of study. Each article must have been published within the past five years. Your assignment should be two to five pages in length and must be in APA formatting.
Here is an example of a critical review: The Writer’s Handbook: Writing Book Reviews.
EDU 695 Week 3 DQ 1 Assessment Tools
Assessment Tools. Read the article entitled, “Assessment in Work‐Based Learning:Investigating a Pedagogical Approach to Enhance Student Learning.” According to Brodie and Irving (2007):
As teachers […], we need to ensure that students will know:
- what learning is (learning implies change)—learning theory;
- how to do it best (the style, approach, fitness for purpose)—learning theory;
- when they have learned (description of and reflection about the learning)—critical reflection;
- what their learning is informed by (its validity; how it stands up to scrutiny against outside evidence)—
- what they need to learn (future learning)—critical reflection;
- what they have learned, know more about, become more able at doing (analysis and evaluation of the
In this discussion, reflect upon your experiences throughout your degree program with selecting assessment methods and designing assessment tools to evaluate learning. Explain how assessment can be used for both individual learner mastery and continuous quality improvement of the instruction. Offer your thoughts on how critical reflection is essential in the assessment process not only for the educator, but for learners as well. Be sure to support your assertions with references from the reading.X
EDU 695 Week 3 DQ 2 Assessment Methods
Assessment Methods. Read the Hansen and Brody article entitled, “Solving Problems Through Action Research.” Specifically pay attention to the various data collection methods. Also think about how other action researchers have collected data. (See examples in Week Two, Discussion 2.)
Think about your instructional problem and your research question. In this discussion forum, propose and describe two to three specific assessment methods and/or instruments to further assess your instructional problem. You will critically reflect on your assessment and instrument choice(s) to justify why it fits your problem and explain how it will assess critical elements of your problem. Refer to the Brodie and Irving article to help you define categories for your critical reflection. (This can help you design the Data Methods section of your Final Project.)
EDU 695 Week 4 Assignment Outline
Outline. Read the Tillotson article entitled, “Studying the Game: Action Research in Science Education.” Using this article as a model, outline your own action research study according to the author’sexplanations. Include the following sections:
- An analysis of the setting
- An analysis of the problem formulation
- A description of data collection
- A description of data analysis
- A description of reporting results
- A description of action planning
Your outline must be two to four pages in length, include two scholarly resources in addition to the course text, and must be in proper APA formatting.
EDU 695 Week 4 DQ 1 Patterns and Trends
Patterns and Trends. Analyze and synthesize findings from your Week Three assignment, specifically the critical reviews of empirical studies relevant to your research question. Extract at least three patterns and/or trends from the five studies. What are some common findings? Explain how these patterns and/or trends inform your research and how they support learning outcomes for a diverse student population.
EDU 695 Week 4 DQ 2 Theoretical Frameworks
- Theoretical Frameworks. Theories give researchers a conceptual framework for understanding problems and/or research questions. In the discussion forum, state your research question and the problem your research attempts to solve. Then, identify two to three theories that could be relevant to your study. Think about theories and theorists you have been studying in the MAED program. Identify the theorists and at least three major tenets of each theory. Summarize, in your own words, the main ideas. Make sure to cite your sources.
The following resources may help you determine relevant theories:
a. Educational Theories
- Instructional Design
- Theories of Reading
In addition to the resources above, a Google search will also yield a great deal of information.
EDU 695 Week 5 Assignment Learning Solutions
Learning Solutions. This assignment will help you with your Final Project. As a leader, you will be solving a variety of problems. Based on the research literature you reviewed, propose solutions to the instructional problem from each of the five perspectives within the context of a diverse community of learners:
a. Curriculum b. Instruction c. Evaluation d. Technology e. Policy
Identify which perspective most closely aligns with the research findings from your literature review and the knowledge base you have gained through your MAED degree program. Use examples to support your reasoning.
EDU 695 Week 5 DQ 1 Components of a Research Proposal
- Components of a Research Proposal. Reference Baron’s Guidelines for Writing Research Proposals and Dissertations. Why do you think it is important to have a formal layout for research papers? Why is it important to state the problem? What is the purpose of the literature review? What is the difference between data collection and data analysis?
EDU 695 Week 5 DQ 2 Recursive Nature of Action Research
- Recursive Nature of Action Research. One of the main traits of action research is that it is recursive which means that you make adaptations and adjustments based on ongoing evidence. Propose a possible solution to your instructional problem/research question. Think of some possible scenarios and how you would make adjustments and/or accommodations.
EDU 695 Week 6 DQ 1 Leadership Principles
Leadership Principles. Read “Leadership Principles” and respond to the following:
- Do you agree or disagree with these leadership principles? Explain why.
- Describe how you would change these principles to fit your own educational setting.
- How are you employing leadership principles in your current educational setting?
- How are you employing educational leadership principles in your research proposal?
- How will you use research to inform your leadership?
EDU 695 Week 6 Final Paper
For your Final Project, you will apply everything you learned in this course to create a research proposal. You can refine
your previous assignments accordingly. You will not be required to implement the research. The purpose is to set up a study for you to further develop at some later point in time.
Your proposal must have the following sections—please include the following headings:
- Statement of the Problem (half a page): State your rationale/purpose. Why do you want to study this? What do you perceive to be an issue or problem? Describe the context (e.g., school, students). Describe your diverse community and how that diversity may impact your study.
- Research Question (half a page): Even though your research question was developed in Week Two, you may need to change it as research questions tend to evolve as you learn more about the issue. State the question and describe how it supports your problem-solving.
- Literature Review (four to five pages): Read at least five scholarly articles about the topic. You may include the sources you listed for your written assignment in Week Three. Summarize all the information you learned about the topic. You may want to include subheadings as you categorize the findings from the other studies. Include a section describing the theoretical framework.
- Participants (half a page): Who do you plan on studying? How many people? Are you studying a specific group (e.g., state, age group, gender)? Be specific about your data sample.
- Data Collection Methods (half a page): Which methods do you plan on using (e.g., conducting interviews, focus groups, surveys)? How do you plan on conducting your study? Describe the procedures.
- Action Plan (two to three pages): Describe two phases of interventions. Indicate possible scenarios and corresponding adjustments.
- Bibliography (one page): Include a reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Your paper must be a minimum of nine pages, not including title and reference pages, and must be in proper APA formatting. You must include a minimum of seven resources.