ELR 605 Action Research Proposal Handbook
Educational research (a) is empirical, (b) should be systemic, (c) should be valid, (e) should be reliable, and (f) can take on a variety of forms. Action research is a tool to improve the work of teachers, counselors, principal, and stakeholders. Action research is a form of applied research whose primary purpose is the improvement of educational practice (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003).
As such, the information gathered during the research process in this venue provides a method of solving everyday problems. These problems may include, but are not limited to, student learning, school programs, and teacher effectiveness. In addition, this type of research is done by the practitioners themselves, and not by outsiders. Specifically, action research promotes teachers to become continuous learners and leaders (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009).
In this assignment, you will design a proposal for an action research study that could be conducted, but you are not responsible for its actual implementation. In an actual action research study, you would design, implement, and measure results of a potential solution strategy, in order to resolve or alleviate a problem. However, as this is a proposal, you will simply be describing what could be done. While not required, you are encouraged (with administrative approval) to implement some/all of this proposal in your classroom/school.
Action Research Proposal Components
An abstract must be included in the proposal. It should be double- spaced, not indented, and no longer than 120 words. It should provide a concise overview of your proposed study.
Part 1: Introduction, Problem, & Purpose
- Introduction (at least one paragraph)
- Select a focus/problem that enables you to directly impact your students, co-workers, or campus. Write a problem statement that clearly states the problem. (Focus on the problem and not on the cause or the solution in the statement of the problem.)
- State your rationale selecting this problem and conducing this study. Why is this important to you? What is the big idea?
- Identify the participants, setting, and your role as the writer.
Part 2: Literature Review
Conduct a literature review to summarize previous research findings. What does the literature say about the problem? What relationships, gaps, and/or contradictions exist in regard to investigating this problem? Include at least five unique citations from peer-reviewed journals.
Part 3: Purpose of Study & Proposed Solution
· State the purpose of your study.
· Determine a potential solution strategy to implement in order to address your problem, supported by research citations. How will this solution impact one or more of your problem’s cause(s)?
Part 4: Research Methodology
· Construct a research design (Action research often follows a quasi-experimental design, but remember that your questions determine the type of design you should select).
· State research questions. Provide an operational definition for variables, as needed.
· Sketch (in general) how the study would be conducted. Be sure to include the following:
o Research participants (sample) and setting
o Sampling procedures/recruitment process
o Data to be collected (type, any reported reliability/validity, etc.)
· Determine the methods (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods) and instruments (surveys, tests, interviews, observations, etc.) that will be used to collect data to measure the impact of the solution strategy.
· Determine the data analysis methods that will be used to analyze the data collected (i.e., specific quantitative test(s), interview coding procedures, etc.).
· Draft a proposed timeline for implementation.
Part 5: Discussion and Conclusion
- Briefly restate your selected problem and overall goal/purpose, and discuss how your solution strategy addresses these areas.
- Discuss the expected outcomes. Since you are not actually implementing this study, what do you expect would happen if you did? What are the short- and long-term implications for students, you, parents, other teachers, the school, etc.
Create a reference list to display each in-text reference cited, as well as all instruments used.
The appendix(es) goes after the References. Forms, questionnaires, assessment instruments, and similar original documents should be appended to the report rather than included as part of the text. Every appendix must be referred to in the body of the report. Title each appendix, assign it a letter, and continue sequential pagination, per APA style.
Throughout your paper, follow APA style in use of headings, sub-headings, citations, and
references. There is no required length, but a suggested length is 7-10 pages. The goal is to
completely respond to all criteria in each section. Sample research proposals will be posted on
Canvas in order to provide a general idea of formatting and style.