Action research – A key feature of our new professional standards for teachers. 

I’m very interested and excited at the manner in which the professional standards in Wales are encouraging the education workforce to develop their skills, to think about pedagogy, to speak Welsh and also to have the opportunity to use action research as a way forward.

http://learning.gov.wales/resources/collections/professional-standards?lang=en

For now I wanted to consider what does action research look like. I discovered a variety of images that generally share common themes.

In terms of defining action research, I think the description in the link below from 1954 provides an excellent insight into what it actually is when related to education.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220671.1954.10882121?journalCode=vjer20

Another definition can be found on a LinkedIn slideshare,

https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/ArunJoseph22/action-research-ppt-63717064

The above slide shared by Arun Joseph provides a very simple but effective means of understanding what action research really constitutes within a School setting.

In my research I’ve discovered the 5 Es

I quite like how this looks and feels. Follow the link below to access the blog which describes the process in greater detail,

http://smartideas.wikispaces.com/Activity+Four

Many wonderful images on action research can be found on the Pinterest link below.

I like the idea of action research as a cycle of events.

The link below provides a PDF on action research in education.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.brown.edu/academics/education-alliance/sites/brown.edu.academics.education-alliance/files/publications/act_research.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjmx__ZjYHXAhULtBoKHU-2DnUQFghOMAM&usg=AOvVaw1yjuAWDWkVJMmNxVMdvl7L

Here are a few more links and images that I have found to be very useful in developing my understanding,

https://edresearch.nmsu.edu/cro-research-publications-2/action-research-initiatives/ar/

The following link, looks at simplifying the process but refers to responsible action, thus placing an emphasis on how this looks in the classroom.

http://www.kylefitzgibbons.com/blog/taking-responsible-action

That brought me full cycle to a teaching tool that used to be an essential part of my lessons, the TASC wheel. It was created by Belle Wallace and is an excellent insight into to how action research looks and feels for pupils,

http://www.projectict.com/Healthy_Me/Tasc_Wheel.html

I still think that this is an excellent tool that allows pupils to fully engage with research and to celebrate their journey and is easily adapted for adult learners as they go on a journey of discovery.

The OECD and Welsh Government have released a document that sets out how to create a learning environment in your school and at the heart is actionresearch.

http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/curriculuminwales/curriculum-for-wales-curriculum-for-life/schools-in-wales-as-learning-organisations/?lang=en

We have the framework to develop our action research and enjoy our journey to embed the ethos of schools as learning organisations. However funding, time and connections with Higher Education facilities needs to be built into the system whether through performance management or our new pay and conditions in Wales.

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