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Practitioner Research for Educators
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Practitioner Research for Educators
A Guide to Improving Classrooms and Schools



September 2005 | 240 pages | Corwin
'I plan to use this book with district administrators, building administrators, and building staff. All would find it an excellent tool for bringing about change in their organizations. It is infinitely readable, meaningful, and very useful' - -Linda L. Elman, Ph.D., Director, Research & Evaluation, Central Kitsap School District, Silverdale, WA

'The material on the research process and the examples are terrific. Steps are clearly spelled out and practical suggestions hit the major problems teachers encounter in attempting research for the first time' - Mildred Murray-Ward, Assistant Provost for Assessment, Professor of Education, California Lutheran University

'(With) more schools...operating as 'learning communities,' this is an excellent tool for schools conducting action research in their own settings. Practitioner Research for Educators is easy to read, has lots of practical advice and examples, and should appeal to the seasoned as well as the novice researcher' - Roxana M. Della Vecchia, Professor & Assistant Dean, College of Education, Towson University

Learn to conduct research rather than just consume research!

Each school and classroom is different. Therefore teachers must learn, through their own inquiry, how to adjust their practices in ways that will improve teaching and learning. Practitioner Research for Educators explains how the popular technique of practitioner inquiry can be used by teachers, headteachers and other school leaders to solve teaching problems and improve student achievement. Viviane Robinson and Mei Kuin Lai include step-by-step instructions, ready-to-use tools and examples of successful practitioner research projects. Practical yet rigorous, this collaborative process is ideal for use in professional learning communities.

Focusing on the pragmatic aspects of embedding research into everyday practice, the authors demonstrate how to:

- Develop an important, yet manageable research question

- Select research methods appropriate to the question

- Plan and conduct a research project that is both practical and rigorous

- Use inquiry to reveal, critique, and revise taken-for-granted assumptions about how to teach

- Use evidence to check the accuracy of claims about "what works"

- Communicate the results of the research to a range of professional audiences

Appropriate for new and experienced teachers alike, this indispensable book provides a functional framework for developing a culture of inquiry among teachers based on high-quality information, mutually supportive critique, and a sustained focus on school improvement. While the primary audiences for this book are teachers, headteachers and other school leaders, this valuable resource is equally useful for teacher educators and pre-service teachers.

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
Part I: The Need for Practitioner Research
 
1. Educators as Researchers
 
2. Tailoring Research to Solve Problems
 
3. Collaborating to Improve Practice
 
4. Combining Rigor and Respect
 
Part II: Doing Practitioner Research
 
5. Planning Your Research
 
6. Purposeful Information Gathering: Interviews and Questionnaires
 
7. Purposeful Information Gathering: Observations and Other Data Collection Methods
 
8. Purposeful Data Analysis
 
9. Communicating Your Research
 
Part III: Practitioner Research and School Improvement
 
10. Integrating Practitioner Research Schoolwide
 
References
 
Index

"I plan to use this book with district administrators, building administrators, and building staff. All would find it an excellent tool for bringing about change in their organizations. It is infinitely readable, meaningful, and very useful."

Linda L. Elman, Director, Research & Evaluation
Central Kitsap School District, Silverdale, WA

"The material on the research process and the examples are terrific. Steps are clearly spelled out and practical suggestions hit the major problems teachers encounter in attempting research for the first time."

Mildred Murray-Ward, Assistant Provost for Assessment/Professor of Education
California Lutheran University

"This is not a theoretical book, but a hands-on resource that shows school leaders how to use action research to solve problems. (It) is a perfect guide for anyone attempting research. I found it easy to read and easy to understand."

Dr. Rose Weiss, Adjunct Lecturer
Education Department, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale

"(With) more schools...operating as "learning communities," this is an excellent tool for schools conducting action research in their own settings. I also feel this text would be ideal for graduate students enrolled in advanced level courses in program evaluation, teacher research, and curriculum assessment. The...book is easy to read, has lots of practical advice and examples, and should appeal to the seasoned as well as the novice researcher."

Roxana M. Della Vecchia, Ph.D., Professor/Assistant Dean
College of Education, Towson University

"This book makes a new contribution to the literature on educational change  (and) describes exciting and powerful ways for educators to plan for changes in school management and classroom practices."

Marie Clay, Professor Emeritus
University of Auckland, New Zealand

"Drawing on principles of organizational learning and methods of practitioner research, Viviane Robinson’s Problem-Based Methodology is the result of many years of work with principals and teachers. This book is theoretically sophisticated, yet provides practical advice for implementing the method."  

Gary Anderson, Professor, Administration Leadership and Technology
The Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

"Advisors with a passion for improving student learning and achievement will find that they have much in common with Robinson and lai. These authors are ardent about the use of problem-based methodology (PBM) by teachers and school leaders to investigate, examine, and test their practices and implicit theories. Those interested in implementing PBM will find that the book gives precise instruction, including outlines, details, and summaries supported by real examples of success."

NACADA Journal, Spring 2007

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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