Volume 6- Number 1, 2003
V6.1E - Editorial - Kurt Clausen and Cheryl Black
“Veil after veil will lift – but there must be veil upon veil behind”
Sir Edwin Arnold. The Light of Asia
Some of the major tenets of Action Research are exposed in the four essays presented in this edition. While each contributor deals with a different level of the school system and a different approach to the situation, they all essentially discuss two important realizations when conducting this type of study. The first relates to the importance of process over product in Action Research while the second concerns the necessity of interaction and collaboration with the participants in the investigation.
V6.11 - ACTION RESEARCH: An Interim Report - Anne Cooper
I am currently a teacher in Special Education at the secondary level. I am teaching Geography, History and Mathematics to Grade 9 students. I also have a group of senior Co-op students on work placements. My grade nine students have all been identified as learning disabled (LD). Diagnoses of my students include Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Language Processing Disorders, and Behavior Disorders. I have chosen to do action research on my own instructional practice, which I will undertake during the normal course of my daily teaching duties.
V6.12 - HOW CAN I BE EFFECTIVE IN MY ROLE AS MENTOR TO A TEACHER CANDIDATE? AN ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT - Kelly Pickard, Masters of Education Graduate, Nipissing University
During the fall of 2000, I hosted a teacher candidate from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / University of Toronto (OISE/UT) in my grade four classroom. Colin (not his real name) began this placement with 4 Student Teacher Experience Program (STEP) days, which occurred one day per week. These days allowed him to observe my teaching and my handling of the class. There was no formal evaluation of this portion of the placement. It was a time in which he was free to teach lessons and to learn from the experience. On October 24, 2000, Colin began a 5-week Teaching Block. During this time, he continued to observe but was expected to do more teaching and lesson planning. At the end of his teaching block, I wrote a summative evaluation of Colin’s progress in this placement.
This paper outlines how new professionals are introduced to reflective practice. Specifically, it describes how a beginning teacher educator supervises and guides 27 teacher candidates as they reflect on how to improve their teaching practices. Distinct contexts for reflective practice include on-campus course meetings and eight different Associate Schools where new professionals learn with experienced professionals. Young professionals ask, "How can I improve my practice?" The action research investigations in response to this question provide compelling reports about how new professionals learn. At the same time, a new teacher educator reflects on how she might improve her practice as she supports new professionals and experienced professionals in learning about reflective practice. Perspectives about reflective practice from both young professionals and a beginning teacher educator reveal some powerful insights about learning from experience.
V6.14 - A TOOL FOR CHANGE: SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATIVE ON-SITE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - Dr. Thomas Ryan, Assistant Professor Faculty of Education, Nipissing University
Many of us in education would like to change something within our system. The problem of change is something that is often more easily discussed than actually completed in the field. The following article suggests a number of paths educators can choose to take which lead us to a mode of research that is on-site, systematic and strategic. Undertaking such a mode of research has both benefits and costs, some of which are reported. Communicative action is a starting point and a means to impact a system that is at times full of blind habits and routinisation (Rudduck, 1991).