The use of data-based decision making is critical in any classroom, but especially in special education settings. The Teacher’s Guide to Action Research for Special Education in PK-12 Classrooms describes the basic concepts of action research and how this process can support student success in the classroom and beyond. This practical, approachable, and concise guide provides case studies, vignettes, student learning objectives, and review exercises to help teachers understand how to effectively use the action research process to identify and evaluate evidence-based interventions, with explicit connections to legally mandated IEP planning, implementation, and evaluation processes.
Marla J. Lohmann, PhD, is associate professor of special education at Colorado Christian University, where she teaches courses on supporting students with disabilities, assistive technology, and action research. Dr. Lohmann has been in the Education field for over twenty years and is passionate about ensuring success for all children and their teachers. You can connect with her via Twitter: @MarlaLohmann.
List of Figures, Tables, and Textboxes
1 What Is Special Education Action Research?
Student Learning Objectives
What Is Research?
Action Research in Daily Life
The Action Research Process
Action Research in the IEP Process
Traditional Research versus Action Research
Quantitative Research, Qualitative Research, & Mixed Methods Research
Why Should I Do Action Research?
Review Questions and Exercises
2 Identifying Classroom Learning Challenges and Collecting Baseline Data
Defining Learning or Behavior Challenge
Collecting Baseline Data
The Challenge with Only Relying on Formal Assessments 3
Additional Data Collection Considerations
Forming a Problem Statement
3 Identifying Potential Evidence-Based Interventions
Finding EBPs Without Access to a University Database
Determining the Appropriateness of an EBP for your Student
Designing an Intervention Plan
4 Implementing an Evidence-Based Intervention
Planning for the Intervention
IRB Applications and Approval
Implementing the Intervention
5 Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Intervention
Analyzing the Formative Data
Determining Effectiveness of Intervention
Seeking Stakeholder Input When Looking at Data
6 Sharing Your Research
Sharing Data with Colleagues
Rationale for Sharing Data with Education Community
Sharing your Research with the Education Community Through Presentations
Sharing your Research with the Education Community Through an Action Research Journal Article
Sharing your Research with the Education Community Through a Journal Article
A synopsis of the Action Research Process
Action Research and the Individualized Education Program
Considerations for Data in Special Education
Review Questions and exercises
Appendix A: Case Studies: Sample Action Research Projects
Case Study: Pierre
Case Study: Jack
Case Study: Alana
Appendix B: Case Studies for Student Practice
Case Study 1: Communication Delay in Preschool
Case Study 2: self-Injury Behavior in Sixth Grade
Case Study 3: Hyperactivity in First Grade
Case Study 4: Paraprofessional Training
Case Study 5: elopement in Fourth Grade
Case Study 6: transition Goal for High school student
Case Study 7: Cheating Behavior in Middle school
Case Study 8: Writing Disability in third Grade
Case Study 9: Math Delay in second Grade
Case Study 10: Biting Behavior in Kindergarten
About the Author
Finding a research methods text that is practical, non-technical, and utilizes a conversational writing style is often challenging. However, Dr. Lohmann has successfully achieved this in The Teacher’s Guide to Action Research for Special Educators in PK-12 Classrooms. This book is a must-have for any special educator who is focused on providing the most effective evidence-based intervention strategies unique to the needs of their individual learners. This book outlines action research as the most appropriate strategy to achieve these outcomes, and Dr. Lohmann presents action research in an extremely user-friendly style.
Dr. Lohmann has put together a wonderful resource for educators explaining why and how to use Action Research in their classrooms. The structure easily walks the reader through the process of conducing Action Research. Weaving a narrative through each chapter and using sample case studies, Dr. Lohmann gives the material plenty of relevant context for the reader. A must-have for any educator’s bookshelf.
As an instructor teaching special education teacher action research for multiple years, I am so excited about this new book. Step-by-step directions and case studies on developing and implementing action research will easily guide special education teachers to become teacher researchers!
A practical guide for any novice or experienced action researcher, The Teacher's Guide to Action Research for Special Education in PK-12 Classrooms is effectively organized to guide the researcher through the process of Action Research in Special Education. This text is well supported with authentic case studies, review questions for reflection and discussion, and applicable practices for the researcher.
Any special educator who is planning to undertake action research will need a copy of Dr. Lohmann’s book. This book is lucid, clear and necessary for anyone who cares about fostering pedagogical development at a classroom level for special education students.
This book is one of the most practical, readable, and student-centered I have read. I believe that special education teachers, graduate students, and others in the field will find the vignettes authentic, realistic, and helpful. The way this book provides connections to prior learning and the daily practices of teachers, as well as tied to significant research makes it both rigorous and relevant without losing practicality. The steps of the action research process are clearly covered in depth, but in ways teachers can understand and utilize immediately. This will clearly be a book we look into using in the future, as not often does a text align so closely with the 'what', the 'why', and the 'how' of the concepts and process being taught, and done so in a way that is focused on student success, as well as the legal mandates, and evidence-based interventions. This book will serve as a powerful, rich, and valuable resource.