Volume 3- Number 1, 2000
V3.1E - Supporting the Process - GUEST EDITORS - Cheryl Black and Peter Rasokas
The last editorial described various forms of support for teachers engaged in the action research process. Peer influence is a very valuable tool. By teaching someone the process, both the student and the teacher gain. The student takes the first few steps through the process and the teacher solidifies his/her own knowledge and experience with the processes of qualitative and quantitative research. The articles in this issue are the products of three groups of people who met regularly to share their projects and to support each other with ideas and encouragement. This issue is a story of the support provided by two peer mentors.
Cheryl Black, Music Teacher, Brantford Collegiate Institute & Vocational School
Academic background: Bachelor of Music, University of Western Ontario, B.Ed., University of Toronto
Areas of current interest: Action ResearchMailing address: 19 Scarfe Ave., Brantford, Ontario.N3T 5P6
Peter Rasokas, Principal, Grand Erie District School Board,
Academic background: B.A. (Hon.) History, M.Ed. University of Western Ontario
Areas of current interest: action research, elementary mathematicsMailing address: R.R. #1, Delhi, On., N4B 2W4
V3.11 - Improving Math Attitudes Through Action Research: Attitude is the Key to Success - Heather Knill-Griesser
This action research project began with a review of the "Summary of attitudes of grade 3 students" in a core school from the 1997-98 Grade 3 EQAO Provincial Assessment. The author was concerned with the low scores in response to the statements, "I like mathematics," and, "I am good at mathematics." Believing that attitude is the key to success, the author critically examined math pedagogy and available resources. Through the use of math/literature activity centres, problem of the day challenges, integration of math across the curriculum, math journals, a Mathtotes home study program, and other resources, a complete math program was designed to meet the provincial curriculum expectations, achievement levels, and the individual needs of the parents and students. In reviewing the "Summary of attitudes of grade 3 students" after participating in the complete math program, math attitudes increased approximately 35% for girls and decreased 3% for boys.
The purpose of this research is to describe and reflect upon the author's training year in Reading Recovery and to track the progress of five grade one students throughout the early identification and early intervention process. Action research provides the support necessary to modify practice in ways compatible with the author’s personal values in a program renowned for its non-negotiable format.
This action research began following a discussion the author and her vice principal, Joe Alessandro, had over an article he had asked her to read in Professionally Speaking. The article indicated that children, whose parents are involved in their children’s homework, tend to perform better in school than children whose parents do not take an active role in their education. The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1 - 8, Mathematics (1997), similarly, indicates that students perform better in school if their parents are involved in their education. Parents and educators share the role of assisting students in developing their overall abilities to the fullest extent possible. It is essential then for parents to become familiar with the content of the curriculum documents. Knowledge of the expectations and assessment standards allows parents to provide more relevant and accurate assistance for their children. The author hypothesized that children will demonstrate even greater levels of achievement when their parents are knowledgeable of the curriculum expectations and furthermore, are actively involved in the assessment process.
An important action research conference is coming up soon. The emphasis will be on dialogue and reflection. It will take place in Brantford, Ontario on February 17 and 18, 2000.