Action research

The course has been designed for teachers seeking to learn about, and conduct, their own action research project in their local context. Each module provides accredited hours of professional learning for teachers seeking to maintain accreditation at the level of Proficient Teacher, as well as for teachers who wish to build an evidence base before applying for accreditation as a "Highly Accomplished" teacher (the second highest level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers).

Accreditation at the Highly Accomplished Teacher level requires that teachers assemble evidence that they can support and assist less-experienced colleagues with all aspects of professional knowledge, practice and professional engagement. Compiling evidence of these skills is a component of this course. Each module will comprise 5 x two-hour workshops plus 10-hours' project time developing a portfolio and conducting a professional learning project. Workshops will be scheduled at a time that is mutually convenient to the Sydney School of Education and Social Work and the course participants.

Completing the Action Research Modules 1 and 2 will contribute 20 hours each of NESA-registered professional development, addressing 6.1.3, 6.2.3, and 6.3.3 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Highly Accomplished Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


Module 1

This module focuses on developing the research skills necessary to support an action-research inquiry. Participants will read and critique a range of prior research with a focus on schools and classrooms. They will use a range of data-collection strategies and methods of analysis appropriate to educational contexts. In conjunction with using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, they will annotate evidence and critically reflect on their learning. Participants will create an annotated portfolio of evidence that constitutes an audit of their learning about action-research methodology as they develop throughout the module.

Throughout the module, participants will be asked to bring their draft portfolio entries to discuss and reflect on with peers during the workshops. It is expected that the entries will be completed progressively across the course. Because this is a master's-level unit of study, participants will need to use American Psychology Association (APA) referencing throughout the portfolio entries when analysing readings. The portfolio will be due about two weeks after the final session of the module.

Expand the headings below for an outline of expectations.

Participants' commitment

  • Attend all face-to-face workshop sessions. It is recommended that pairs or small groups of participants who intend to conduct action research together enrol in this course together.
  • Complete data collection and analysis activities for discussion in workshop sessions.
  • Complete weekly assigned readings.
  • Further analyse evidence of research practice and annotate against Professional Teaching Standards.
  • Engage in feedback discussions with colleagues and presenter.
  • Develop a possible focus for an action-research project.
  • Complete an ongoing professional portfolio (total = 3000 words) that includes the annotated documents, reflection about research practices and links to associated readings.

Requirements of the professional portfolio of evidence

  • personal profile of participant (400 words)
  • 4 x evidence samples of research practice, annotated using AITSL standards
  • 4 x critical analyses/journal entries linking the readings and the standards to evidence of research practice (each one approximately 450 words)
  • outline of a possible action-research project (200 words)
  • self-evaluation statement (200 words)
  • reference list.


Module 2

This module builds on the content of Module 1 to support teachers to develop and lead an action-research project of their own design. Participants work with the presenter and colleagues to: refine the problematic for their research project; design appropriate data-collection strategies; analyse data; and report on findings. Workshop content will be collaboratively designed with participants to meet their learning needs and the demands of their project design. This may include a workshop session on writing for publication, to assist participants to share their work with the broader education community.

Because this is a master's-level unit of study, participants will need to use American Psychology Association (APA) referencing throughout the inquiry report entries when analysing readings. The inquiry report will be due about two weeks after the final session of the module.

Expand the headings below for an outline of expectations.

Participants' commitment (for 20 hours of accredited professional learning)

  • Attend all face-to-face workshop sessions.
  • Establish an action-research team or partnership.
  • Negotiate regular research activity in line with the timeline for the project.
  • Collect, analyse and discuss data and findings with presenter and colleagues.
  • Complete an ongoing action-research report (equivalent to 3000 words) that documents the inquiry process related to the identified focus.

Requirements of the action-research report (equivalent to 3000 words)

  • Introduction
    ◦ Yourself
    ◦ Your situation
    ◦ The participants
    ◦ Your research problematic and the reasons for choosing it.
  • An account of the design and what happened in each cycle of research action
  • Critical analysis/reflection on the issues encountered
  • Conclusion
    ◦ What you learned
    ◦ Your recommendations for change
    ◦ Suggestions for further mentoring action inquiry.


Presenter

Debra Talbot, Director of Professional Learning, Sydney School of Education and Social Work


Fees and registration

Teachers may elect to redirect their professional experience mentoring payment towards the module's cost of $770 per person (including GST). Individual schools – or communities of schools – that can guarantee a minimum of 20 participants qualify for a reduced rate of $385 per person.

Upon completion of BOTH modules that make up the unit of study, participants may request to have this course assessed for credit towards a Master of Education.

CONDITIONS AND ADDITIONAL FEES APPLY.



Contact

Nina Goodwin | T: +61 2 9351 6329 | E: