Action Research Project Proposal


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Enhancing community and collaborative learning.

No matter how far you've come, there is always a distance to go.


The main goal of my Action Research Project (ARP) is to create more of a sense of community among students in my classes around their learning. The point is to enhance collaborative learning and diminish the perceived role of the teacher as the focal point. Subsidiary goals are to jointly track and manage student projects interactively and to improve one-on-one communication with students.

I'm choosing to study this I am seeing that students have a whole society around technology about which we know very little. For example, students routinely use chat and email to communicate with each other. Others journal. One of my students showed me her journal on Livejournal  and I noticed that many other of our students also had journals there. (Reading her journal was enlightening, but I wonder if she and the others have thought through the ramifications of their journals being public?)

Students are developing a whole community through school that is outside of “school”. Can some of that community be harnessed for “school”. Maybe it's because I'm relatively new to teaching, but I am fascinated by what the kids are doing—and learning. I had an inkling of this last year when I watched them chat using instant messaging.

It's obvious that most have a sense of community, but the question then becomes how to help them transfer some of that sense of community to what we consider to be "learning". Pardon the quotes around those, but I'm becoming more convinced our curriculum does not have as large of effect on what the students are learning as we think. Our school goal for the year is “Focus on Learning” and seeing if our curriculum is aligned with our Student Learning Outcomes. This project should fit in well.

The ARP committee consists of Glenn Hoskins (7th grade Math) and Dan Smith (7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies). Both are interested in increasing the sense of community among students and both have tried various ways of doing so and are actively looking for new ways.

This ARP will also fulfill my Plan B professional growth for the 2001-2002 school year.

• Action Research Project • Proposal • Research (Working Draft) • Plan of Action • Cycle 1 Report • Cycle 2 Report • Action Research Project Report •


Last maintained 08/23/2003



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