When I read that "Research" was the next course on our journey, I must admit I wasn't thrilled. While I like to write, I am haunted by those experiences of college "research papers" that were so time intensive and light on substance. Visions of APA styling floated through my head. Boy, was I relieved when I started delving into the "action research" of EDLD 5311!
What first looks to be just another research project is, in reality, a valuable
procedure for each of us to learn. In visiting with a new administrator
on my campus earlier this year, I was puzzled to hear her state
"reflection" as her primary goal for our staff. I get it now...
I've learned that the reflection of which she speaks really should be a
cornerstone of my teaching protocols and that deliberate wanderings based on
this reflection can result in incredible change in my classroom. I've
learned that I can use the current knowledge I have of my school to find
problems and solutions moving forward.
In addition, I can use data by my own students to support the choices I
make in our curriculum! This is a truly
empowering model for improving our schools.
In our readings this week, one idea kept resonating with me. Time.
How many times have we all wished for just a little more time to re-work
that unit or brainstorm another way for students to demonstrate their
learning? We know there are “kinks” in the
material, and yet, we continue to teach around them because it is so difficult
to restructure what has become natural.
Our action research plan and project are going to force us to address at
least one of these issues in our school or classroom. I’m excited to see what the rest of my
classmates choose… I bet our schools and students are more alike than they are
I plan to use this opportunity to study my audition process. As a teacher of the fine arts, I facilitate two major auditions each school year. The current process is filled with issues that can be improved upon. I'm looking forward to answering the following question: "How can I modify the current Highland Belle audition protocols to make the experience more reasonable and satisfying for all stakeholders, regardless of the outcome? Good luck to each of you!