UNDERSTANDING THE ACTION RESEARCH CENTER
Action research is inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance. It typically is designed and conducted by practitioners who analyze the data to improve their own practice. Action research refers to a wide variety of evaluative, investigative, and analytical research methods designed to diagnose problems or weaknesses—whether organizational, academic, or instructional—and help educators develop practical solutions to address them quickly and efficiently. Action research may also be applied to programs or educational techniques that are not necessarily experiencing any problems, but that educators simply want to learn more about and improve. The general goal is to create a simple, practical, repeatable process of iterative learning, evaluation, and improvement that leads to increasingly better results for schools, teachers, or programs. Action research may also be called a cycle of action or cycle of inquiry, since it typically follows a predefined process that is repeated over time.
What is Action Research?
The Importance of Global Education
The survival of society’s global village is dependent on issues like “Economic justice, human rights, peacekeeping and conflicts, social and political movements, and ecological balances.” The World Economic Form’s reports (2012) examine the K-12 curriculum objectives of the states with the most advanced curriculum. The study suggests that students are inadequately prepared to understand global risk, and they will not be able to take advantage of global opportunities. Global education is a factor for ensuring competitiveness and prosperity in today’s world. Studies show that high skills lead to better jobs, higher salaries, and substantial gains in social mobility. American education has not adequately responded to these new challenges of preparing students for a global marketplace.
Increasing Community Involvement According to Epstein (2001), organizations can achieve desired outcomes through community and family involvement. The influence on children of school, community, and family are undeniable, but too often, the connection between them is overlooked. Family and community members can contribute extensively to the work of the school, to the planning and implementation of curricular and extracurricular activities that enhance learning, and to the infusion of the culture of students and families within the school (Bryan, 2005). Subsequently, “School-family-community” partnerships build social capital or networks of trust that families draw from to help their children succeed (Epstein & Sanders, 2000)
NGOs and Global Education
Trends suggest that programs facilitated through non-government organization and nonprofit organizations supplement students’ education (Gajda, 2004). Increasingly, collaboration between business, non-profit, health and educational agencies is being championed as a powerful strategy to achieve a vision otherwise not possible when independent entities work alone. However, the definition of collaboration is elusive and it is often difficult for organizations to put collaboration into practice and assess it with certainty (Gajda, 2004). Furthermore, collaboration with schools and nonprofit organizations can enhance student learning outcomes.
College & Career Readiness
Schools, nonprofit organizations, families and employers must work together to ensure that all students graduate from high school college-ready. We know that the majority of living-wage jobs in the United States require at least some postsecondary education. Action Research Center connects session leaders with high school students to provide the students direct feedback about their college readiness skills in writing, reading, and math.