Thursday, November 19, 2015
Essential Question: What are the characteristics of an engaging Action Research Report?
I picked the 2 articles that were about science because I am a science teacher. The first thing I did after that was look at the page lengths. I planned to just skim them, but ended up reading more than expected. From this I gained a few insights as to what might spark someone's interest. The first being that it is very important to have an engaging introduction. This is what readers get to first. You can either make it something that really hooks the reader into wanting to read more or it could be a total dud causing the reader to disregard your work. Tracy (2002) described his situation so well that I thought he must have been in my classroom. “As I struggled to explain mitosis to a group of very low English level English Language Learners I realized that they had no idea what I was saying. Desperately I floundered to try a different approach.” I feel like I am doing this constantly with my middle school students. He couldn’t have described it any more perfectly. Once I read that I wanted to keep going and know more. He also brings in the humor that sometimes comes into teaching by sharing a personal story. This personal story was easy to relate to as I think every teacher has probably had a similar experience of doing something and it comes out totally wrong.
The second article I read by Herman (2002) took a little longer to hook me. It didn’t really seem to relate to me but I read on anyway. It didn’t take long to get to something intriguing, on the second page she talked about challenges. One really stuck out to me, and I could relate. “Students would get up and walk around when they felt like it, even if the teacher or another student was speaking to the class. Or a student would sharpen a pencil during another student’s presentation.” I frequently have this problem and have to stop the class to talk with students.
With both articles I was engaged when I could relate. I think this seems to be a huge part of the engagement. Describing something with enough detail, but not too much, so that someone else could feel like they are in your shoes.
I also think it is very important at the end to discuss implications. According to Action Research Projects (2002), “The implications for your findings might consider a set of next steps you want to take, additional research that needs to be done, and/or how your findings relate to your school or teaching context.” I think this really engages a reader to think more critically and stirs their imagination. At least for me, I start to think about what I could do differently.
"Action Research Projects." Action Research Projects: Exemplar Projects - LMTIP. 2002. Web. 20 Nov. 2015. <https://gse.gmu.edu/research/lmtip/arp/ex>.
Hermann, K. (2002, June 1). Teaching Science to High School Students Who Have Limited Formal Schooling.
Tracy, C. (2002, June 1). Assessment: A New Science Teacher’s Attempt to Use Assessment as a Form of Conversation.