Illinois  State  University  

  Instructor     C&I  481  –  Professional  Research   Fall  2011  

Dr.  Cheri  Toledo   Office:  DeGarmo  214   Office  Hours:    Tuesday  4:00-­‐5:00  pm;   Other  times  by  appointment  

Email:   Phone:  (309)  438-­‐3490   Skype:  drctedd  

Course  Description  
Study  of  teacher-­‐initiated  research  and  design  of  a  curricular  or  instructional  research  project  in  an   educational  setting.  Prerequisites:  24  hrs.  in  a  program  of  study  and  consent  of  advisor.  

Course  Overview  
This  course  will  focus  on  the  rationale,  issues  and  implications  of  the  current  teacher  research   movement  within  education,  research  strategies,  and  techniques  used  by  teachers  to  conduct  research   in  their  own  classroom  settings.       C&I  481  is  a  synthesizing  experience,  bringing  together  all  that  you  have  learned  from  your  C&I  Master’s   coursework  and  is  intended  to  guide  you  through  the  following  teacher  research  project  processes:   • • • • • Conceptualization   Designing   Planning  and  conducting     Analyzing  and  writing  up  the  results   Presenting  the  findings  

    These  processes  will  enable  you  to  connect  your  research  and  instructional  practice.  Teacher  research  is   anchored  in  sound  research  paradigms  that  draw  on  a  variety  of  data  collection  methods.  This  course   provides  an  understanding  of  the  roots  of  teacher  research,  how  it  has  evolved  in  concert  with  the   larger  issues  of  educational  reform,  and  how  to  plan  a  research  project  and  begin  data  collection.   Following  the  protocols  of  research  as  defined  by  the  Illinois  State  University  is  required  in  all  elements   of  the  coursework.    

Required  Texts  
Mills,  G.  E.  (2011).  Action  research:  A  guide  for  the  teacher  researcher  (4th  edition).  Boston:  Pearson.   American  Psychological  Association  (2010).  Publication  Manual  of  the  American  Psychological   Association  (6th  edition).  Washington,  DC:  American  Psychological  Association.   Realizing  the  Democratic  Ideal   Illinois  State  University  has  a  historic  and  enduring  commitment  to  prepare  teachers  and  other  school   personnel  who  will  be  responsive  to  the  ethical  and  intellectual  demands  of  a  democratic  society.  To   teach  in  a  democracy  is  to  consciously  take  up  the  challenge  of  improving  the  ethical  and  intellectual   quality  of  our  societal  dialogue  by  including  in  it  as  many  educated  voices  as  possible.  This  course  fosters  

2   the  intellectual  and  ethical  commitments  reflected  in  Realizing  the  Democratic  Ideal.  Students   demonstrate  and  apply  knowledge  concerning  the  appreciation  of  the  diversity  among  learners  and   consideration  of  appropriate  teaching  strategies.  For  more  information  about  ISU’s  Conceptual   Framework,  please  visit:­‐ ideal.shtml  

Course  Objective  
The  objective  of  this  course  is  to  design  and  conduct  an  action  research  project  in  your  own  classroom.     In  order  to  meet  this  objective,  several  steps  must  be  followed:     • Determine  a  focus  of  interest  from  your  own  teaching  that  you  would  like  to  research   • Based  on  your  teaching  experiences,  create  a  set  of  research  questions  that  relate  your  research   topic   • Develop  a  research  design  for  your  study   • Complete  and  submit  an  application  for  Human  Subjects  Research   o This  document,  required  by  the  university,  includes  title,  purpose,  theoretical   framework,  methods  of  data  analysis,  and  permission  letters   o Research  cannot  be  conducted  without  the  IRB  approval   o You  must  complete  the  CITI  training  to  conduct  research  at  ISU   • Collect  multiple  sources  of  relevant  data   • Analyze  the  data     • Choose  a  state  or  national  journal,  write  up  your  findings,  and  submit  the  article   • Present  your  findings  at  the  C&I  Graduate  Symposium     The  effectiveness  of  this  course  depends  upon  our  joint  willingness  to  read,  discuss,  ask  questions,  try   out  research  strategies,  and  critically  analyze  research  methodologies.  My  goal  is  that  we  work  together   to  develop  a  strong  and  effective  learning  community  that  collaborates  to  meet  individual  and  group   goals.     These  beliefs  will  guide  the  learning  processes  during  the  course:   • Learning  is  reflective  as  well  as  active   • As  an  active  process,  learning  begins  with  personal  connections  and  engagement   • The  personal  connections  and  engagement  of  learning  enable  the  social  process  of  collaboration   through  dialogue   • Choice  allows  learners  to  connect  their  experiences  and  feel  ownership  of  the  course     • Learning  occurs  in  a  multicultural  world  with  many  ways  of  knowing     There  will  be  many  opportunities  for  informal  interactions  in  small  groups  and  in  whole  group   discussions  and  experiences.  You  will  work  in  workshop  settings  in  order  to  make  decisions  about  your   studies  from  several  different  perspectives.   • You  will  be  asked  to  find  questions  that  are  important  to  your  own  teaching  and  develop  a   systematic  intentional  inquiry   • You  will  have  choices  in  the  specific  focus  of  your  research   • You  will  choose  professional  literature  that  supports  your  research   • We  will  have  many  opportunities  to  reflect  on  what  we  are  learning  through  writing,  talking  and   self-­‐evaluations  


Topical  Content  Outline    
• • • • • • Structure  of  teacher  research     Framing  research  questions     Possible  designs  of  inquiry     IRB  process     Literature  review  procedures     Data  collection  methods  

Student  Evaluation  Procedures  
Letter  grades  will  not  be  used  to  assess  your  work  in  this  course.  Rather,  each  assignment  will  be   assessed  with  either  a  check  (√),  meaning  you  have  met  requirements  of  the  assignment,  or  a  minus  (-­‐),   meaning  you  have  not  yet  satisfied  the  assignment  requirements.       Assignments  receiving  a  check  (√)  will  be  considered  complete;  those  receiving  a  minus  (-­‐)  will  be   returned  with  suggestions  for  improvement  and  revision.  Each  assignment  may  be  submitted  for   revision  one  time.  Any  task  that  remains  a  minus  (-­‐)  is  considered  not  successfully  completed.       Your  final  grade  for  the  course  will  be  determined  by  your  active  participation  in  class  and  by  these   criteria:     To  earn  an  A,  you  successfully  (√)  complete  all  required  tasks  by  deadline  dates   To  earn  a  B,  you  successfully  (√)  complete  all  required  tasks  after  deadline  dates,  but  by  the  end  of   the  semester   To  earn  an  F,  you  do  not  successfully  (√)  complete  all  required  assignment  by  the  end  of  the   semester  

Course  Policies  and  Expectations  
Professionalism   A  professional  attitude  is  expected.  As  a  teacher-­‐scholar  in  your  school/district  you  will  need  to   demonstrate  your  leadership  skills  this  academic  year.  Leadership  qualities  include  taking  initiative,   making  decisions,  maintaining  an  active  role  in  classroom  activities,  and  modeling  a  professional  attitude   in  and  out  of  class.  Come  to  class  prepared  to  participate  in  discussions  and  workshops.   Leadership.  Because  this  is  a  culminating  graduate  course,  it  is  expected  that  you  will  take  initiative  in   making  decisions  about  how  you  should  complete  course  requirements.  How  you  complete  the   assignment  tells  communicates  what  you  think  a  teacher-­‐scholar  should  know  and  be  able  to  do.   Graduate  Course  Writing   Written  work  must:   • be  submitted  on  or  before  the  assigned  due  date   • clear  and  strong,  free  of  ambiguities  –  take  a  stance   • reflect  substance  in  thought   • demonstrate  originality  and  imagination   • be  mechanically  correct  –  typed,  free  of  errors,  with  appropriate  formatting  and  citation,  in   Standard  English.  Attention  should  be  paid  to  (1")  margins,  spacing,  headers,  page  numbers,   references,  and  font.  Your  papers  must  be  in  a  consistent  APA  6th  Edition  style.  You  are  

4   responsible  for  educating  yourself  on  style  issues.  Grammar,  organization,  APA  accuracy,  and   writing  styles  are  factors  in  evaluation.  

Required  Assignments    
Human  Subject  Research  (Fall)     1. CITI  Training  (Students  Conducting  Minimal  Research  Course)     a. Begin  at   b. Follow  the  instructions  for  Initial  Registration   c. Once  you  log  in,  Add  a  course  or  update  your  learner  groups  for  Illinois  State  University   d. Look  at  the  first  section:  Basic  Courses  in  the  Protection  of  Human  Subjects   e. Choose  the  Students  conducting  no  more  than  minimal  risk  research  course   f. Scroll  to  the  bottom  and  click  on  Continue   2. Institutional  Review  Board  (IRB)       a. The  IRB  at  Illinois  State  University  requires  that  all  research  conducted  with  human  subjects   is  approved  in  order  to  protect  those  subjects  from  potential  harm  and/or  unethical  studies.   You  will  need  to  follow  all  University  guidelines  for  completing  the  research  protocol  forms.     b. You  can  access  all  forms  from  the  Research  and  Sponsored  Programs  office:  Please  print  the  Protocol  Submission   Form  and  any  necessary  appendices  (this  will  depend  on  your  research  study).  You  may  not   begin  your  research  until  your  research  protocol  has  been  approved.     Research  Notebook       Keep  a  research  notebook  in  which  you  regularly  (at  least  weekly)  record  your  experiences  in   carrying  out  your  action  research.  The  purpose  of  the  notebook  is  to  help  you  to  reflect  on  your   practices,  formulate  ideas  for  action  or  changes  in  practice,  and  evaluate  those  actions.  You  will  be   using  your  research  notebook  as  a  data  source  for  writing  an  analysis  of  your  action  research   project.  I  will  occasionally  ask  you  to  record  other  ideas  there.     Literature  Review     Students  will  write  a  review  of  research  that  describes  and  synthesizes  empirical  research   appropriate  to  their  topic.  A  thorough  literature  review  demonstrates  what  you  know  about  the   topic  that  you  are  researching.  There  is  no  “set”  number  of  citations  that  you  need;  however,  this   review  should  be  extensive.     Research  Proposal  Presentation     Each  research  person/team  will  present  a  proposed  research  study.  This  presentation  must  include   your  theoretical  framework,  literature  review  findings,  research  design  (including  participants  and   data  collection  procedures),  and  plan  for  analysis.       Additional  Resources   Buehl,  D.  and  Moore,  D.W.  (2008).  Research  connections  linking  research  to  practice  in  disciplinary   instruction.  Journal  of  Adolescent  &  Adult  Literacy,  52(6),  535-­‐537.     Cazden,  C.  (2001).  Classroom  discourse:  The  language  of  teaching  and  learning.  Portsmouth,  NH:  

5   Heinemann.     Edge,  J.,  &  Richards,  K.  (Eds.).  (1993).  Teachers  develop,  teachers  research:  Papers  on  classroom   research  and  teacher  development.  Oxford:  Heinemann.     Falk,  B.  (2007).  From  the  editor—Inside  Teaching:  Learning  from  the  inquiries  of  practicing  teachers.  The   New  Educator,  1549-­‐9243,  3(4),  i-­‐iv.   Hubbard,  R.,  &  Power,  B.  (1993).  The  art  of  classroom  inquiry:  A  handbook  for  teacher-­‐  researchers.   Portsmouth,  NH:  Heinemann.     Meyers,  E.  and  Rust,  F.  (2003).  Taking  action  with  teacher  research.  Portsmouth,  NH:  Heinemann.  

Newton,  P.,  &  Burgess,  D.  (2008).  Exploring  Types  of  Educational  Action  Research:  Implications   for  Research  Validity.  International  Journal  of  Qualitative  Methods,  7(4),  18-­‐30.   Retrieved  from  EBSCOhost.  
Shagoury,  R.  and  Power,  B.  (2003).  Art  of  classroom  inquiry:  A  handbook  for  teachers-­‐researchers.   Portsmouth,  NH:  Heinemann.          


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