What I have learned about action research….
Action research is responsive to the needs of the educational leader “in the trenches”. It is more flexible than other methods of research and the process is gradual. The questions and interpretations at the beginning of action research can later be challenged or refined so the research does not need to be abandoned if the data leads in a different direction. The researcher is an active participant. They cyclic process allows the participant(s) to learn from experiences along with allowing a continual reflection process. What impresses me most is that action research allows the educator to explore concerns in his applicable situation and through reflection and action practical solutions as well as improvements are discovered.
I have a small bit of experience with action research through being on a campus leadership team where our topic of inquiry was improvement of student discipline in common areas of the school. As discussed earlier, action research is a gradual process and we are continuing to reflect and refine a year later. I am excited about using action research to help me in the area of collection development in my libraries. I have chosen eBooks for my topic of inquiry in this class. I plan on taking action research to my group of district librarians which is a small group of six. I plan to facilitate our group forming our own professional learning community (PLC) and use action research to improve practices in our libraries.
How Educational Leaders Might Use Blogs
Educational blogs can be used as professional journals where feedback from colleagues could be useful along with insightful. Blogs can reach your inner group; being those educators you know, as well as, far away by a more diverse group. This can serve as a springboard for further discussion as well as for collaboration. Blogging can also be beneficial to update teachers/staff within a professional learning community. The readers of blogs can insert themselves and share by commenting on blog posts. Blogs can also serve as a reflective tool to observe how similar concerns or situations have been solved and these strategies can be revisited. Blogging encompasses 21st century learning and provides a resource for experiences, reflections and even actions to be shared with a larger professional community.