I have gained an abundance of information and knowledge in this course. When I first opened assignment on Week 1, I was shocked at how lost I felt. The books, video lectures, blogs, discussions and assignments have been instrumental during this course. Additionally these forums have been vital for my current action research on OverDrive Media. Without the time to work through the thought process, interviews, feedback and drafts, I could never have completed a fluid action research project that I felt comfortable moving forward on.
The week we viewed video lectures on action research had a tremendous impact on my learning. I was originally overwhelmed by the myriad of information shared by the gentlemen on action research. I found myself watching each video two to three times absorbed in the wealth of information they were sharing. It was through watching these videos I understood the practicality of action research as well as the impact action research can have on a school district, its campuses and student achievement.
The books for this class, “Leading with Passion & Knowledge: The Principal as Action Researcher” by Nancy F. Dana along with “Examining What We Do to Improve Our Schools: 8 Steps from Analysis to Action” by Sandra Harris et al both embodied an abundance of information about action research. Although both texts shared a wealth of knowledge the Harris text was more practical and easier for me to follow in the actual structure of action research. The Harris text proposes eight steps in a school improvement action research plan. Both texts discuss the importance of reflection; however, the Harris text has the questions at the end of each step. These are listed as either “Tools” or “Reflection Questions.” This provided the reader with a systematic avenue to reflection along with characterizing all steps involved in action research.
The discussion board for this course contributed to a thought provoking exchange of relevant ideas. I enjoyed that these discussions were reflective in nature and not just interpretation of textbook information. The blog reflections and action research plans were enlightening. Although I did not always comment, I appreciated the varied material and the insight I received from reading different blogs.
Transforming into a true educational leader of a school is not an overnight undertaking. To me this class was not only about research but molding us into true educational leaders for our school. Using the strategies and processes taught to us in this class will strengthen professional development and performance. This class has given me tools to inspire teachers and students to continue learning. I am also invigorated to use these tools in continuing my professional growth using reflection and collaborating with others.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
My site supervisor has repeatedly told me he supported my project but admits to not being overly tech savvy and actually loving what he calls “real books”. He is older and close to retirement but very supportive of my endeavors and has reiterated that he will support and help me the best he can. After reviewing my plan he thought it was quite good and that the process of events was fluid and showed a natural progression of each step that is to be undertaken. He agrees that using my district librarians as a resource and a part of my evaluations is very important since collaboration is very important when conducting action research. I was cautioned to make sure that I follow the timelines I had given as well as to make sure I had allowed adequate time to accomplish each task. He believes they will be able to better help me discover areas of concern and help me to in tweaking my plan during the process. My site supervisor very much liked that I discussed using food/ chocolate with the teachers to help get cooperation with surveys and interviews. He is hopeful that more students will use OverDrive Media with school Nooks and iPads. He encouraged me to continue the promotion of this initiative and training with both staff and students. This campus is new this year and teachers are from across the district. He noted that these different personalities would influence the types of literature that students would be interested in. Looking at the timelines that I allotted in my plan, I still believe these are adequate. I will keep a close eye on these timelines and make adjustments later if I see they are necessary. I agreed that every campus seems to develop their own personality and that is also reflected in books and in this case eBooks. We both agreed that since this campus was new and in its infancy this was a prime time to explore OverDrive Media and the types of books desired by both staff and students. My site supervisor and I both agree that this plan can provide some good data on OverDrive that can potentially benefit the district as a whole.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
I discovered it was beneficial to put down a timeline for my action research plan and to study the scope and sequence that my inquiry will require. After looking at my first draft, I realized some things needed to be changed and added. This reflection was extremely valuable. I am sure that my continued reflection may also give me areas to examine to improve upon my plan.