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Using Action Research to Improve Educational Practices: Where We Are and Where We Are Going

Author(s): Cher Hendricks

Journal: Journal of Curriculum and Instruction
ISSN 1937-3929

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: action research | education - research

The focus of this issue of the Journal of Curriculum and Instruction is using action research to improve educational practices. The articles cover diverse topics relevant to P-12 educators and university faculty interested in ways action research can make a difference in schools and with students. Sagor delves more deeply into ways action research, particularly in collaboration with others, can contribute to the professional knowledge base and enhance curricular reforms by helping teachers discover how to alter instruction and curriculum across varied contexts. Manfra discusses the theoretical divide between competing purposes of action research and suggests we begin looking for commonalities between practical and critical forms of action research. Massey and her colleagues report on an investigation of what graduate students gain and take away from action research courses and experiences. Ellison, an elementary school teacher, describes the action research study she conducted in her classroom to help students gain mathematics problem-solving skills and confidence. The articles by Sagor, Manfra, and Massey reveal barriers, both theoretical and practical, to the action research process. Ellison gives us a practical application of teacher research that reveals the reflective work of a professional educator who is using the tools of action research to guide her own professional development.

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