ACTION RESEARCH FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT IN CLASSROOM TEACHING AND LEARNING
Viterbo University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Teaching and learning is a reciprocal dynamic. The problem under investigation in this study was effective teaching and learning in the 21st century classroom. Twenty-first century classrooms are defined as focused on communication, creativity, problem solving, team work, and technology. The target is continuous improvement based on data-driven decisions. The pedagogical tool utilized was the action research cycle during a Master of Arts in Education degree program for educators in Pk-12 classrooms. The purpose of the study was to determine if teachers who were taught the perspective of intentional actions for continuous improvement were able to (a) use action research to create new options or new approaches to old problems, (b) model a commitment to learning and continuous professional growth, (c) study their teaching to set into motion a plan for professional development and, (d) take on additional leadership opportunities in the next two years. Results of the study showed that the great majority of the participants did see the benefits of utilizing action research, or Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA), in Pk-12 classrooms as a systematic tool for continuous professional development and improved student achievement. Because of the dynamic interaction between teacher and student, increased engagement and renewed motivation resulted. The researchers plan to extend the data collection at one- year and three-year intervals after graduation to measure the lasting impact of the experience. True to the name of continuous improvement, this study is not finite, but continues to evolve.
Keywords: Action research, reflective practice, continuous improvement, PDSA, Kaizen, LEAN, transformation.