Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road (2nd Edition)

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9780131185180: Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road (2nd Edition)

For courses in Action Research; supplement for Reading Methods courses; and Teacher Education courses. Appealingly styled as a "journey" on a "yellow brick road," this compact text links all of the practical aspects of conducting action research with the scholarly tools that support the cycle of reflective practice, thereby showing prospective and practicing teachers how to make action research a natural part of their teaching. Offers a clear vision of how curiosity, play, imagination, and creativity can inform classroom teaching, as well as practical, well-grounded guidelines for using these qualities to enhance effective research studies in both individual and collaborative contexts.

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From the Back Cover:

Action Research for Teachers: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road, Second Edition, provides a solid framework for problem solving in collaborative contexts. The authors of this book detail how action research is a powerful method for documenting, developing, and evaluating the curriculum. Using the analogy of the Wizard of Oz and its characters, this text is expressly written for literacy teachers and identifies all of the elements that make action research a valuable self-assessment tool for teachers.

Features include:
  • Seven Sections. Each section is complete with excerpts from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Baum, 1900) to set the tone of the chapter, introductions, and summaries.
  • Exploring the Forest. This is a workshop of explorations and exercises that will enable the reader to develop tools for carrying out an action research project, including how to keep a research journal and collect artifacts for a mini-portfolio.
  • Stepping Stones. These features present tips to help readers gain insights into action research processes, such as getting organized and knowing what documents and artifacts to save.
  • Four Case Studies. Five teachers share their action research studies and progress throughout the book, showing readers how to use action research in real classroom situations.
  • Travelers' Notes and Stories. Fellow scholars provide notes and stories of their projects: how they analyzed their data, told their research stories, and organized and displayed their data, teaching readers how to further implement and organize an action research project.

About the Author:

Joanne M. Arhar started her career as an English teacher at a high school in the Cleveland area. What was most rewarding was working collaboratively with colleagues on interdisciplinary projects. After twelve years, she decided to work as an administrator at both the middle and high school levels, developing curriculum, facilitating the change from a junior high to a middle school concept, and supporting teachers in interdisciplinary teaming. During her doctoral program at the University of Cincinnati, she studied the ways in which teams in both schools and industry developed to create a more supportive and productive working and learning environment. Following graduate school, she taught in the Educational Leadership department at the University of South Florida and later moved to Kent State University where she currently coordinates the Middle Childhood Education program and teaches courses in teaching studies, teacher action research, and middle grades education. Her scholarship continues to revolve around ways in which teachers can provide curricular leadership in an era of standards and accountability.

Mary Louise Holly is professor in the department of Teaching, Leadership, and Curriculum Studies, and director of Kent State University's Faculty Professional Development Center. Her career began in 1968 as an elementary school art consultant. She became a classroom teacher of young children, and later a professor of curriculum and teaching. Her study of professional development led her as a visiting scholar to two institutions known for action research: the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia in England, and the School of Education at Deakin University in Australia. Early in her career Mary Lou began documenting and learning from her teaching using artistic and qualitative methods. This introduced her to action research and laid a foundation for later work with adults using life history and biographical methods. Related works include: Writing to Grow: Keeping a Personal-Professional Journal (Heinemann, 1989) and Perspectives on Teacher Professional Development with Caven McLoughlin (Falmer Press, 1989).

Wendy C. Kasten is a professor of Curriculum and Instruction in Literacy at Kent State University, teaching the action research course for the graduate program in reading specialization. At KSU since 1995, Kasten has taught elementary school in Maine, and higher education at the University of South Florida, University of Maine, and at Deakin University in Australia. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Arizona's program in Language and Literacy in 1984, where she was a graduate teaching and research assistant. Kasten is active in the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Reading Conference and the Whole Language Umbrella. She is the 1997-2001 President of the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT), an invitation-only collective of literacy educators in multiple countries who share holistic and constructivist views of learning. She is co-author of The Multi-age Classroom: A Family of Learners (with B. Clarke, 1993, Richard C. Owen Publishers) and Implementing Multi-age education: A Practical Guide (with E. Lolli,1998, Christopher-Gordon Publishers) and many chapters and articles on literacy topics. Her next book, A Children's Literature Text she is writing with Janice V Kristo, will be published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall.

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