News and Information
- 2018 WMEA Conference – Action-Based Research – Educator Effectiveness in Disguise – to be presented by Lisa Benz, Paul Budde, and Shawn Gudmunsen
- 2017 WMEA Conference – Action-Based Research – presented by Paul Budde
- Budde, P. (2017). Action-Based Research – A Collaborative Initiative for Wisconsin Music Educators, Part I. Wisconsin School Musician, 87,(3), 26-27.
- Budde, P. (2017). Action-Based Research – A Collaborative Initiative for Wisconsin Music Educators, Part II. Wisconsin School Musician, 88,(1), 38-42.
WHAT IS ACTION-BASED RESEARCH?
Action-based research is a systematic experiment carried out by an educator who seeks to improve teaching and learning within her unique classroom setting. Although there are many reasons to engage in action-based research, it is often initiated when an educator experiences turbulence in the journey of teaching and learning. In such cases, the teacher explores new ways of doing in order to help her students succeed. Like any research agenda, there are several steps included within action-based research. These include:
- Identifying a Research Focus – the teacher identifies an area of interest or need within her teaching setting
- Developing Questions – the teacher formulates specific research questions that provide the framework for her study
- Determining Approaches – the teacher identifies two or more distinct teaching approaches that she will implement (and compare) in her study
- Selecting Participants – the teacher identifies specific classes/students who will be included in her study
- Carrying Out Research – the teacher carries out her experiment by implementing specific strategies within her teaching setting
- Collecting Data – after a predetermined amount of time, the teacher collects data (e.g., tests, surveys, etc) to compare the teaching approaches utilized in her study
- Analyzing Data – the teacher analyzes data to determine the relative success of each teaching approach utilized in her study
- Reporting Findings – the teacher shares the results of her study with selected audiences (e.g., parents, colleagues, administration, conference attendees, etc)
- Incorporating Findings – the teacher adjusts strategies for teaching and learning, based on the findings of her study
BENEFITS OF ACTION-BASED RESEARCH
There are many benefits associated with action-based research. Most notably, action-based research can improve teaching and learning in one’s classroom setting. Clearly, if we discover ways to better serve our students via action-based research, then it is worth our time and energy. There are, however, additional benefits, as can be seen in the hypothetical scenario above. For example, sharing the results of an action-based research project with:
- students and parents gives the educator an opportunity to model lifelong learning and a commitment to excellence
- colleagues can lead to dialogue and collaboration within or between schools regarding ways to improve teaching and learning
- administration and policy-makers affords the opportunity for teachers to showcase professional growth based on tangible (data-driven) results
- professors opens the door for collaborative efforts between PK-12 teachers and University instructors and/or students
Further, educators who engage in action-based research often experience a sense of personal satisfaction, based on the knowledge that they are learning and growing as a professional, while also improving opportunities to learn for students in their classrooms.