Ultimately, action research validates the effectiveness of a teacher's strategies within the classroom or a principal's practice of school management. Focusing on a question or wondering, principals engage in data collection, strategy, and design of a plan around their question at hand. It allows the administrator to become a stakeholder by investigating their own dilemmas and facilitating change based on the research they produce. Action research involves a spiraling of reflection and action. First, they will diagnose a problem needing resolution within their practice or school. Next, through evaluation of data, administrators develop action strategies, implement them, and evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies. Action research allows educators and administrators to be actively involved in their own professional growth which allows them to be role models for other stakeholders in the district.
I could use action research in my own classroom as I implement my "Cardinals Connect" project for my administrative internship plan. Through Skype in the Classroom, I will connect my classes with classrooms around the world in order to promote cultural diversity, and it will be used as a tool to teach about historical locations, events, and people through the eyes of locals. My goal would be to determine if the use of international connectivity to other classrooms would be effective in promoting cultural diversity in our culturally similar district. I have also considered evaluating the implementation of the STAAR testing within our history department over the last two years. I could analyze the testing data to determine strengths and weakness and to determine the skills needing improvement. Working collaboratively as a department, we could then find ways to address these skills and evaluate the success of intervention. I could also predict the progression of scores as the STAAR implementation continues. Ultimately I feel the most advantageous action inquiry I could do would be to determine how to incorporate cross-curricular writing in a way that is most beneficial to the student. I am a former English teacher, and now as a history teacher, I see the great opportunity for cross-curricular writing. I would need to analyze our writing scores across grade levels, identify the weaknesses in the writing skills based on the STAAR objectives tested, and research successful programs that have been implemented in other school districts. Being involved in addressing any of these dilemmas should prove to be very rewarding for me.