Teachers As Action Researchers the Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

There are many individuals that do enjoy reading novels as opposed to textbooks and therefore may see this type of assignment as providing immediate gratification. This can also allow individuals that are considering a particular career opportunity to view that type of career when seen in a real world type of context (Loebbecke, 1999). Having discussion questions and dealing with issues that were involved in the novel help students to learn more easily and put the information that they are learning in their textbooks into context. Another way is to work with the discussion questions via computer so that these students learn more about technology at the same time that they are learning other issues.

The fourth myth that Langer (1997) discusses is that memorizing information by rote is necessary within the education field. It is very important that instructors identify very explicitly skills that are being tested or emphasized within a given assignment (Shuell, 1988). However, this does not mean that simply learning information and offering it back on a test teaches individuals much about the topic that they are involved with when it comes to contextual basis of the real world. It is often helpful for specifics that must be learned but requires much more work when something that has been learned must be generalized to a circumstance that has different parameters (Reimann & Schult, 1996).

The fifth myth that is discussed is that forgetting things is a problem. Individuals often worry about forgetting information once they have learned it. However, many advances in technology have increased information availability so much that the need for information on a closed-book basis is not as strong as it may have been in the past (Langer, 1997). When information is learned in a mindful way, the individual is much more open to how the same information might differ where other situations are concerned. If an individual forgets how he or she did something in the past better solutions might actually appear when the individual thinks about the issue a second or third time.

In 1878, a man named William James talked about the meaning of truth. This is important for myth number six, which implies that intelligence requires knowing what is 'out there' in the world. James (1878) said that all experience is actually a process and therefore there is no point-of-view that can actually be the last one. Each point-of-view is off-balance and insufficient in some way and therefore responsible to other points-of-view as well. There are many theories regarding intelligence and most of them assume that an absolute reality is somewhere out there, and that having intelligence is correlated in a positive manner with being aware of this reality (Langer, 1997).

The seventh and final myth that Langer (1997) discusses is that there are answers that are right or wrong. Being able to create and develop, as well as discover, meaningful choices, relates to uncertainty. Uncertainty can help enhance thinking and creative methods but many students usually view the facts that they are given in a classroom as being unconditionally true (Langer, 1997). Being mindful, however, puts data in the perspective of being a potential source for ambiguity and exercising personal control in making a choice of how information will be utilized and this will affect not only the relevance of that information but its interpretation as well. In other words, an answer that may be seemingly inadequate may actually be very adequate when looked at in another context.

The questions that students ask and responses that they give should be paid close attention to by educators, because the ideas that they contain and the discoveries that they indicate may be extremely creative (Langer, 1997). This is also part of the reason that computers and technology should be utilized to assess what individuals are learning today because they can be made to look at issues in different ways than they have in the past. Research that is still relatively recent has emphasized evaluating answers that are not correct in helping educators understand what students actually are aware of and what they are not (Alexander, Murphy, & Kulikowich, 1998). In other words, simply because a student gets a wrong answer does not necessarily mean that the student is incapable of understanding the concept.


The methodology of any study is particularly important. Without a clear understanding of how the study was conducted and what was dealt with in it, it becomes very difficult to analyze data in a way that makes any kind of sense later on. Because of this, the methodology that is carried out must be explained clearly and precisely, so that there is no confusion about what was done, and what was discovered. This section of the methodology deals specifically with how the research was designed and what approach was utilized. The approach to this particular study is considered to be really a relatively simple one, but it is also a very important one, and it makes the most sense for the information that is available and the answers that the researcher seeks to find in this particular study.

The site that has been chosen for this particular study is the local high school. Most of the teachers there are veterans of the teaching environment who have at least 15 years of teaching experience. At the local high school, there are many students who need to learn the skills that they will use in college and in careers. It is believed that technology and cooperative learning can help them do this, but this will only take place if there is technology available to them, and right now there is very little technology being used at the school.

The group that will be surveyed and will make up the population for this study is made up of 18 teachers. These teachers work in various subjects at the school. One of the teachers surveyed will be the computer teacher, but other teachers will also be surveyed, as the idea is to examine whether technology should be used all throughout the local high school, not only in the specific computer classes. By surveying these teachers, the attitudes and opinions regarding why technology is not used now and whether teachers think that it should be can be addressed. Also addressed will be the issue of whether teachers feel as though they have what they need when it comes to technology in the classroom.

The method of measurement will be quantitative, in that a survey is a quantitative type of measurement. However, the survey will ask not only yes/no types of questions that can be easily coded, but will also ask questions that are more open-ended. The survey is somewhat of an interview as well, based on these open-ended questions and the longer emotional responses that can be given to these types of questions. Once the survey is completed, it will be coded and studied based on the answers that were given to the yes/no questions and the opinions of the teachers that were given in the open-ended question section.

The procedure for this particular study will be by means of a survey that will be given to 18 teachers at the local high school. The survey will be shown in the Appendix so that the reader can be aware of the questions that were asked of the teachers. These questions will deal with basics such as the length of time that these teachers have been in their chosen profession and other basic issues. After these have been addressed, questions about cooperative learning and technology (both yes/no and open-ended) will be addressed. The goal will be to discover not only whether the teachers feel that technology is being used, but whether it is being used effectively and what can be done to make adjustments if the technology that is used at the school is not as effective as it could be.

As for any ethical considerations that might be considered, there are very few. The teachers will all be aware of what they will be doing by taking the survey, and their answers will be kept strictly confidential. There will be nothing on the surveys that will ask for a name or other defining characteristic, so that the teachers that complete the survey will not need to be concerned about others being aware of what their answers were. The data will also be kept only by the researcher, and others at the school or at any other facility will not have access to it, thus furthering the safety and confidentiality of the answers that the teachers will have given to the survey.

The data will be analyzed and the yes/no responses will be coded so that it will be much easier for the researcher to determine how many individuals answered yes or no to the questions. While 18 individuals are not that many and would not be…

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