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Action Research for Educators

Daniel R. Tomal

Most research methods are too impractical and painstaking for educators. Teachers and administrators at all levels—elementary, secondary, and university—need a simple, yet powerful book on conducting action research as a viable method for making educational improvements. This user-friendly book covers the principles and history of action research, ethical and legal considerations, how to conduct both formal and informal action research, data collection methods, data analysis and interpretation, planning and initiating action, and evaluating the results of action. Illustrations are included in each chapter.

· A procedure model for using action research in the school environment.
· A model of action research with examples.
· A comprehensive description of how action research varies from the use of qualitative and quantitative research methodology.
· Examples of benchmarking techniques that can aid an educator in using action research.
· Examples of how to conduct literature reviews.
· A detailed explanation of collecting data and analyzing this data in a practical manner.
· Practical tips and strategies to analyze data using basic statistical methods.
· Samples of teacher action research projects and references.
· How to construct graphs using Microsoft Excel.
· Methods of evaluating action research.
· Explanation of how to conduct a formal action research proposal.
· Strategies in conducting interviews and surveys.

Designed for elementary and secondary teachers and administrators as a practical guide, and for university professors as a required textbook or supplemental book.
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R&L Education
Pages: 160Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-4613-5 • Paperback • April 2003 • $36.00 • (£24.95)
Daniel R. Tomal is professor and acting chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at Concordia University teaching educational leadership and research as well as a consultant and author of six books such as Discipline by Negotiation, and has made guest appearances on many national radio and television shows.
Part 1 Preface
Part 2 Acknowledgments
Part 3 Chapter 1: The Nature of Educational Research
Chapter 4 Principles of Research
Chapter 5 Quantitative Versus Qualitative Research
Chapter 6 Action Research Principles
Part 7 Chapter 2: Action Research
Chapter 8 History of Action Research
Chapter 9 Action Research Model
Chapter 10 Statement of the Problem (Initial Diagnosis)
Chapter 11 Developing an Action Research Proposal
Chapter 12 Benchmarking
Chapter 13 Ethical and Legal Considerations
Part 14 Chapter 3: Data Collection Methods
Chapter 15 The Nature of Data Collection
Chapter 16 Observing
Chapter 17 Interviewing
Chapter 18 Surveying
Chapter 19 Assessing
Chapter 20 Processing
Part 21 Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Interpretation
Chapter 22 Threats to Validity
Chapter 23 Using Descriptive Statistics
Chapter 24 Using Graphs and Diagrams
Chapter 25 Writing Narrative Reports
Part 26 Chapter 5: Solving Problems and Taking Action
Chapter 27 Barriers to Problem Solving
Chapter 28 Steps in Solving Problems
Chapter 29 Managing Change
Chapter 30 Planning and Initiating Action
Part 31 Chapter 6: Evaluating Action Research
Chapter 32 Areas for Evaluation
Chapter 33 Methods for Evaluating Results
Part 34 Chapter 7: Conducting Action Research
Chapter 35 Sample Research Study
Chapter 36 Collaborative Process Intervention: An Action Research Study
Part 37 Appendix A: Ethical Standards of the American Educational Research Association
Part 38 Appendix B: Seventy-Five Ideas for Conducting Action Research
Part 39 Bibliography
Part 40 Index
Part 41 About the Author
Tomal provides a guide to action research that should be in the library of every educator. The principles of this book have the potential to motivate teachers, inspire best practices, and to pursue action plans that transform schools. Reading this book will enhance the practice of novice educators interested in problem solving and heighten the resolve of experienced educators to engage in practical research. A must-read for practicing educators and students. Essential.

• Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title 2004