A Glimpse on Action Research

Post date: Apr 8, 2014 12:50:05 PM

by: Maila M. Capulong

Having been in the Department of Education for almost ten years now, I have been exposed to many programs and projects involving improvements in the curriculum, its delivery and other components necessary to provide quality education to all Filipinos. But there is one vital action that every teacher must be willing to do for her/him to know the root causes of classroom problems, adjustments to be made in teaching methods and the atmosphere to be created in nurturing the minds and spirits of every learner in the school.

Action research is a basic tool thatpromises academic progress for teachers, principals and other education personnel. It is basically designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice. It allows them to experience problem solving activities. It attempts to answer two basic questions: how well are the students learning? And how well are the teachers teaching?

It has the potential to generate genuine and sustained improvements in schools. It gives educators new opportunities to reflect on and assess their teaching; it gives them a chance to explore and test new ideas, methods and materials; it helps them to assess how effective the new approaches were and it aids them to share feedback with fellow team members and to make decisions about new curriculum, instructions and assessment plans.

Action research on teaching needs a more systematic approach to make observations and keep records. It involves a cycle of planning, action, observation and reflection. This cyclic process, action and evaluation are interlinked. It involves a change or intervention.

I hope I can expound in details what an action research is through exposure to readings and examples being submitted by different teachers awaiting for approval from the division office. I want to ascertain the definition and importance of action research and I hope it is done for the purposes of research specifically in improving instruction and not just when the teachers want to earn points for their promotion.

Certainly, it can help the teachers upgrade their professional status but, do they really know what it is about and how can they prepare a good action research?

I will enumerate the steps involved in action research preparation by quoting on Gray in 2000. In his steps he enumerated the following:

a. Identify a topic or problem

b. Gather data

c. Present a solution

d. Apply the solution

e. Reflect on the process

f. Continue the intervention

I can actually quote more of the famous researchers like Mills in 2003 and Nunan in 1990. Yet, this may be enough for guidance in preparing your action research. We should not forget that in our action research these are the only components: question, observation and listening, interview, talk, writing and reading.

By following the above steps, I can formally say that teachers are ready to conquer the world of action research at their own pace, giving priority in finding solutions to perennial problems, intervening in new approaches in teaching methods and in making the classroom not just a place to learn, but also a place in building every learner’s dreams and aspirations in life.