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Search Abstracts and Read Full-Text Studies

Literature Search
Course of Action
Project’s Progress
Evaluating Sources
Evaluating Webs
Researching Literature Steps




Action Research Literature Search

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3. To Gain Insight Into Your Project’s Progress or Outcomes

Building Research Base & Fine-Tuning Action Plan

  Building Your Research Base

  As your action research project progresses, you may find it helpful to continue searching the literature in order to build your research base, fine-tune your action plan, or to increase your understanding of the data you are gathering.

  During your action research study, you may find that you would like to delve a little deeper into the strategy you have chosen for implementation or the philosophy underlying your teaching decisions.  Now that your project is underway, a continued search of the literature may help you to continue expanding your rationale for selecting your targeted strategy. 



For example:

  Perhaps you started an action research project on the use of response journals as a way of improving your students’ understanding and appreciation of science.  Now, in the middle of your study, you realize that something “magical” is happening as your students express their personal reactions to the experiments they are performing and the topics they are exploring.  You decide to read more about “response theory” to learn why your students seem to be learning more even though you have been requiring less memorization!

Fine-Tuning Your Action Plan


  You are implementing your chosen strategy, but now you are running into some problems.  Things are not working out as you had anticipated.  A continued search of the literature may reveal possible modifications to consider as you try making adjustments to fit your students’ unique needs.



For example:


  You are using Literature Circles as a means of fostering lively discussions and improving understanding in your gifted Social Studies class.  Your students initially enjoyed the novelty of this approach, but now they are becoming bored with “the same old routine.”  A search of the literature may help you answer questions like the following:

  • Am I over-using this strategy?

  • What approaches have other teachers used with this strategy?

  • Are there other roles that my students can take on besides the ones I have been using so far?

What follow-up activities can I add to make my students more accountable for their lit circle discussions?