[McNiff & Whitehead] Action Re search – Procedures and Model (Part 3)

31 05 2009


McNiff, J & Whitehead, J. 2006. All You Need To Know About Action Research. SAGE Publications. London. Page 107 – 153

I have extracted the model from the examples of action research plans as it explains the plans for research but no model used mentioned.

1)                  Planning.

The research questions follow ten (10) questions in ‘design (part 2)’.

2)                  Carrying out action plan

It is demonstrated by action research questions starts with “How I …” as reflex to research issues arise. As the research questions developed and the research plan on action, it comes with underpinning values which may relevant to the research.

3)                  Monitoring

It always involves choosing data gathering techniques that appropriate to the research questions. The monitoring process involved the experience of learning, action episodes and critical occurrence that will be recorded in journals, statements by people etc.

4)                  Gather and sorting data

In data gathering, the processes involved the questions of what, where and how. It also involved combination of processes of observing, recording, storing and sorting data.

5)                  Storing data

The analyzed data can generate evidence. After collecting data, gather and sort it into easier form, it can be stored in various ways such as in computers. The physical artifacts can be stored in boxes and try sort it regularly.

6)                  Reflects and revise plan

As research running, reflection always takes part in the cycle. Do revise plan as it goes further for advance action.


[Emanuel, D.T] The Effect of Computer-based Mathematics on Problem Solving – Journal 2

26 05 2009


Emanuel, D.T. (n.d).The Effect of Computer-based Mathematics on Problem Solving.


Purpose of this study: to examine the effects of computer-based mathematics curriculum on problem solving and the student’s attitudes towards computer-based mathematics.

Subjects/ participants: 3rd grade students

Supplement: receive 2 hours weekly computer-guided math instruction with regular math investigations.

Computer program: Edutest-focus on problem solving strategies, geometry, number sense, logic patterns, measurement, probability and word problems.


  1. Students work independently with computer-guided instruction
  2. To assess achievement level – Pretest and posttest administered with continuing teacher assessment in class.
  3. Researcher also carries out attitude survey to measure the students’ feeling of using computer. It is given before and after test.

Future plan:

  1. The information obtained will be used to plan and implementing computer-based curriculum.
  2. To see whether students’ attitude towards computer math will have an effect on how they implement the program.


Problem solving in math curriculum – students have difficulty to understand and answering the questions especially in the form of word problems.

It is assumed that the students have no enough background knowledge and help from home.



3rd grade students – divided into two groups of seven.


No secure additional parental consent forms.


  1. Pretest >> Group one (control group) worked on Edutest reading strands
  2. Pretest >> Group two (treatment group) worked on Edutest mathematics strands


  1. Two (2) hours per week for five (5) weeks.
  2. After five (5) weeks, groups rotated.


Sadie Tillis, south west side of Jacksonville, Florida.


Most of the item attitude questions showed increasing number in their likes concerning math and computer math program.

[Badillo,M.G] Advantages of Homogenous Collaborative Grouping for Algebra Students – Journal Review 1

26 05 2009

By:   Badillo, MG.(n.d).  Advantages of Homogenous Collaborative Grouping for Algebra Students.


The researcher has used collaborative group to teach algebra in heterogeneous group. But for the subsequent years, she had found that the technique was not work well in heterogeneous group with the lower performing students became passive learners in heterogeneous group.

The researcher decided to allocate those students into homogenous group so that these students will participate in their group without domination from excellent group.

Main objective

Of any small group is to encourage Algebraic discussion and to improve their learning and retention of information

Action research question

Does a low level performing students show greater improvement when grouped in a cooperative/ collaborative group of students with similar levels in Algebra?

Previous study (literature review):

  1. There were no previous studies of the benefits of the heterogeneous versus homogenous grouping.
  2. But there were studies of how to select students into homogenous group and working in collaborative groups is an essential skill for students.


  1. Grade “D” and “F” students were grouped just near to researcher’s (teacher) table so that the researcher will easily access and observe to the students.

Approach/ method

1st quarter:

Students randomly selected to be in small groups of four students each.

2nd quarter:

Students assigned to new groups with each group consist of one higher student, two average performing students and one low performing student.

3rd quarter:

Low grade students from both first and second quarters assigned to the same group

(In this research, only one groups of low grade students formed).


The researcher negotiated with other subjects teachers to not to vary the students seating and grouping in classroom.  She also explained to the group that they will have more opportunity to work together and feel freely to contribute to the group. The parents had been informed of the new grouping and only one parent requested to assigned her child into heterogeneous group.

Timeline/ duration of research

Nine-weeks grading period (started January 2005 and ended in early March 2005).

Data collection

  1. Compared students’ performance from second and third quarters from 8 particulars:
    1. Report card GPA
    2. Tests GPA
    3. Quizzes GPA
    4. Rate of completion of Algebra Assignments
    5. Participation in Extra Credit
    6. Participation in Grade Recovery
    7. Participation in Remediation
    8. Attendance
  2. School year and state competency test results (for comparison)

Data Analysis

  1. Observation:
    1. Each students willing to act as presenter when a problem given.
    2. Completion of assignments improved (but not for one student-it is believed that student lest prepared for unexpected quizzes)
    3. Test GPA improved for twelve students, four students stayed within range of 3 points and one student 11 point drop in GPA.
    4. Report card for thirteen students improved.
    5. The other four students dropped five points.

2. Results:

Third quarter students had shown increasingly improvements compared to the second quarter for assignments, quizzes and


Action plan

Since the results shown the action research was encouraging and researcher plan to implement this strategy for lower students in learning algebra to the next students.


[McNiff & Whitehead] Action Research – Design (Part 2)

24 05 2009


McNiff, J & Whitehead, J. 2006. All You Need To Know About Action Research. SAGE Publications. London. Page 90 – 106

The planning involves asking and answering questions such as “What should I do to improve what I’m doing?” The plan should guide through the process and will explain the important questions.

In this book, the author cited Whitehead,J (1989; 2003) the ideas:

  1. I experienced a concern when some of my educational values are denied in my practice.
  2. I imagine a solution to the concern.
  3. I act in the direction of the imagined solution.
  4. I evaluate the outcome of the solution and
  5. I modify my practice, plans and ideas in the light of the evaluation.

McNiff in this book suggests several action plans in details:

1. “What is my concern?

–          Identify what we want to research.

–          Turn the research issues into an action research question, beginning with “How do I …..?”

2. “What am I concerned?”

–          Why it is an issue for us?

–          May be it is something related to our values and we are not in the right value such as justice or freedom.

3. “What kinds of experience can I describe to show why I am concerned?”

–          Gather data and generate evidence to show the situation in reality.

4. “What can I do about it?”

–          Think what we can do to improve the situation.

–          We can’t force anyone but we can try to influence them and may be they will think again.

–          Eg:

We build up our own concern and prepared with several options to face the out coming responses.

5. “What will I do about it?”

–          Think possible way forward with choosing only one option and follow it through in action.

–          Eg:

Prepared chosen option and follow-up plan.

6. “What kind of data will I gather to show the situation as it unfolds?”

–          What we expect in influencing others?

–          Think of what do you think will happen?

–          It can be diary entry, photograph and exam results.

7. “How will I explain my educational influences in learning?”

–          How you make judgments about influence and whether you achieve what you should achieve.

8. “How will I ensure that my conclusions I reach are reasonably fair and accurate?”

9. “How will I evaluate the validity of the evidenced –based accounts of my learning?” and

10. “How will I modifymy concerns, ideas and practice in the light of my evaluations?”

…Part 2 (To be continued)

[McNiff & Whitehead] Action Research – The Concept (Part 1)

24 05 2009


McNiff, J & Whitehead, J. 2006. All You Need To Know About Action Research. SAGE Publications. London. Page 7 – 15.

Action research is a type of investigation for practitioners seek the truth by investigation and monitoring their work by evaluation. It is for everyone which everyone can be a researcher. Researcher for him/herself even I can be a researcher!

They can decide what to do and negotiate with other what will going to do. The research can be done in group or individual. The story from what have been done will be published and shared with others. Other story also can strengthen the following and becoming studies.

Action research is a distinctive research as it is different with conventional scientific and social research. It is not about looking for situation and asked for “what people are doing”, “how people doing” and “why people doing”. It also quite familiar with scientific research in concept of “how that things happened?”, “why those things happened?” etc.

The process of ‘observe >> reflect >> act >> evaluate >> modify >> move in new directions’ is known as action – reflection.


Figure: An action-reflection cycle

The purpose of action research is specially in generate a new knowledge and it become potential when ideas are linked with action. Action research can be done for many purposes, but not for all.. Action research can be used when we want to evaluate what we doing is influencing ourselves or others. We can use it for the purpose of:

i. Improve understanding

ii. Develop learning and

iii. Influence others’ learning

It will be wrong if we use it for comparisons such as for statistical correlations or demonstrate the cause and effects of relationship.

….Part 1 (To be continued)

LECTURE 4 – 11th May 2009

19 05 2009

By : Dr Siti Fatimah

Research action in education:

Teachers investigate/ do research systematically to one particular practice for the purpose of:-

* Improvement

Types of research:

  1. Action research
  2. Experimental research
  3. Survey

Cycle & Literature Review:

Reflect >> Plan >>  Act  >>  Observe >> Reflect  >>  Plan  >>  Act >>  Observe  >> Reflect

*In each step, literature review can be done

Steps in Action Research Process (Johnson, 2006)


Literature Review:

  • Review to the literature sources like books, journals, conference article and reports
  • Must be done critically to the points
  1. Compare and contrast
  2. Analysis (high level)
  3. Evaluate: do consideration based on advantages and limitation
  4. Making conclusion :
    1. Statements from the research
    2. Used to make decision, explain something, predict and support statements
  5. Synthesizing:
    1. Combine ideas, sources, and items

LECTURE 1 – 20th April 2009

14 05 2009

By: Dr Siti Fatimah

The knowledge pyramid. Wisdom can only be achieved when knowledge can be extracted from information that is gained from the data.


Golden age (721 – 1406C)

  1. Jabir ibn Hayyan (chemist) named alkali (al-qaliy) and alcohol (al-kohl).
  2. Al-Khwarizmi (Mathematician) introduced algebra (from al-jabr) to Europe.
  3. Al-Razi (doctor) first defined smallpox.
  4. Avicenna (doctor): His invention on medicine was highly regarded until 16th century.

Research – What is it?

Questioning >> collect data to answer questions >> respond to questions (answer the questions)

Process (General)

Identify the problems à literature review à determine test approach à data collection à data analysis à Discuss findings and research implications à report

Action Research in Study


Teacher examines >> Investigate >> systematically study on particular practice for the purposes:

i. Improvement (How skills, techniques, and strategies can be improve and give impact to students)

ii. Professional development

Koshy (2005)

i. Action research – self research

ii. Participate in investigation

iii. Practice built theory

iv. Based on situations

v. Useful in solving the real problems

vi. Face to face with individual, groups aimed to improve status

vii. Involve analysis, reflex and evaluation

viii. Facilitate changes through inquiry

Types of Action Research

i. Individual

ii. Collaborative

iii. District

iv. School

Models of Action Research

model mac isaac 1995A Simple Model from MacIsaac (1995)


Detailed Action Research Model (adapted from Susman, 1983)


O’Brien, R. (1998). An Overview of the Methodological Approach of Action Research. Retrieved May 12, 2009 from Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto: http://www.web.net/~robrien/papers/arfinal.html