Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quality Indicators for Practitioner Research

Quality Indicator 1

Context of Study: 
As the principal-researcher, I will need to provide explicit information about the context of the research.  This will include but not be limited to information about the school, district, teachers, students, content, and curriculum. It is important to provide background and surrounding information in the action research inquiry. Clearly, one needs to identify and be very forthright about the context of the inquiry. Have I provided enough context for my research for others to understand?  In what ways have I considered the context in the design of the inquiry?  These are questions I can ask as I complete my research inquiry.
To ensure others will be able to understand by research, I will need to thoroughly evaluate my context of study.  Will others be able to understand my context for the inquiry and how it might transfer to similar situations?  If the context is clear and complete information is provided in the action research inquiry then others will be able to possibly apply the outcomes research to their own circumstances (Dana, 2009, p. 179-180

Quality Indicator 2

Wonderings(s) and Purpose:

“Principal –researchers explain the root of their question(s)/wondering(s) in detail (Dana, 2009, p.180).” This quality indicator focuses on the conception of the question(s)/wondering(s).  The research will need to provide detail explanation that will provide a convincing argument as to its importance and relevance.  All stated wondering(s) should be connected to literature in the field of study.  The researcher’s intent and questions should be “clearly articulated, free of educational jargon, focused inward, and open ended (Dana, 2009 p. 180.)”
As I work through this indicator, it will help me to focus on my inquiry and not that of others.  I will learn to ask the questions that will keep my inquiry focused and appropriate to literature and other research in the same field.   While I am pursuing the answer to the questions in my research inquiry, it will encourage me that I have  provided enough information that others will understand what led me to the wondering or inquiry. While assessing the quality and transferability of others’ inquiry, I will  as several questions as Dana suggested in relation to “tension, dilemma, issue, or problem of practice” that the inquirer faced.”  This quality indicator will show others how determined and passionate I am about my topic and wondering.  (Dana, 2009, p. 180-181).

Quality Indicator 3

Principal Research Design (Data Collection and Data Analysis) :

This quality indicator stresses the validity of data collection and analysis from multiple sources.   When conducting a research action project, it is imperative that one use quality data. The researcher must provide “detailed explanations of all procedures and a timeline for data collection, as well as an explanation of how data were analyzed.”  (Dana, 2009, p. 181)  This explanation should include what sources were used to collect the data and how the researcher analyzed the data.  
In the evaluation process of data collection, I will use several of the suggested questions to help focus on my efforts to gather accurate, up-to-date, credible information instead of data for data sake.  I will make sure I explain all procedures associated with the inquiry and describe any changes or adjustments that were made in my inquiry procedure.  All of this will help me maintain the research for the time needed to complete my project.  (Dana, 2009, p. 181-182)

Quality Indicator 4

Principal-Researcher Learning: 
A Principal-research should articulate clear, thoughtful statements abou5t what they learned through the process.  I will need to provide statements and reflections about the action research project that are relevant.  I should follow up my statements with pertinent readings and findings that will support the data collected and analyzed.  This detailed process will provide clarity for my reader and those that want to transfer the findings to their situations.  
I will not only discuss what I have learned, but will reflect on my own journey as well so that I remain unbiased in my thinking.  I will need to remain focused as I gather the data, document my experiences and findings, and share my readings that relate to the action research project and process (Dana, 2009, 182-183).

Quality Indicator 5

Implications for Practice: 

This quality indicator requires the researcher to give “detail examples of change they have made or will consider making based on what they learned through their research.’  (Dana , 2009, p. 183)  This is critical throughout my research in order evaluate what they have learned in the process.  This discussion will provide information for future action research based on what was learned in the process.  Detailing the changes that have or will take place is critical throughout the process. All changes should be based on research and outcomes of the action research project.

During the action research project, I will keep the wonderings and questions that have been spurred from the literature read and the data analyzed as a result of my inquiry.  In the future, I will use this quality indicator to further my questions or wonderings.  (Dana, 2009, 183-184).
Dana, N.F. (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press

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