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Recent reform documents have identified practitioners' lack of awareness and implementation of exemplary, innovative practices, and major national associations have noted the ongoing gap between research and practice. The literature supports collaborative action research and teacher researchers as methods to expand the base of educational research and educational knowledge. Following an extensive literature review, this paper describes the Academic Challenge Program (ACP) at the Ohio State University at Newark in a 6-year program funded by the state of Ohio Board of Regents. ACP focuses on action research designed to facilitate the collaborative, systematic development of research-based, innovative educational practices. The program aims to encourage and support professional development of teachers, encourage use of research to improve classroom practice, and develop and disseminate effective and innovative materials that have been classroom-tested through action research. The program's three interrelated phases are pedagogical awareness; research, development, and evaluation; and classroom application. The 1988-89 ACP program involved 19 elementary and middle school teachers selected through an application and recommendation process. The innovative activities developed involved art, mathematics, reading, science, social studies, and writing and featured deliberate integration of technology (calculators, computers, overhead projectors, and video) into the teaching and learning process. Data analysis based on teacher attitude and perceptual scales suggests that participants made significant growth toward the ideal as perceived by program staff. (53 references) (MLH)

Descriptors: Action Research, Cooperative Programs, Educational Innovation, Educational Research, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Teacher Researchers, Teacher Role, Theory Practice Relationship

Autor: Berlin, Donna F.; White, Arthur L.


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