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.