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Welcome to the Language Minority Teacher Induction Program
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Action Research Projects:

From Concept to Practice: Beginning Teachers' Reflections on the Education of Linguistically-Diverse Students


This page contains:

  1. The core features of an action research project
  2. The research design and data collection used in exemplar LMTIP action research projects
  3. A styles template for the final written version of your LMTIP project

1. Core Features for an Action Research Project

All of the examplar projects meet the following criteria:

1. A Consistent Internal
    Logic
  • A consistent internal logic means that the research question(s) you pose at the beginning of the paper should be answered at some point later in the paper.
2. Connections to the
    Literature
  • The research question you are exploring is tied to other research that's already been done on this question. Usually this is done in either a Connections to the Literature section or a Review of the Literature section.
3. Data Collection and
    Findings
  • The data collection "tools" you used to collect evidence on your question need to be identified: Did you collect your data with interviews, surveys, test scores, observations, etc.? What were your findings from the data that you collected?
4. Reflections
  • Personal reflections should address (a) the assumptions you held at the outset of the project, (b) the thoughts and reactions you had during the process of completing your project, and (c) how your original assumptions may have changed as a result of completing this project.

    (You may wish to create a separate Reflections section within your paper or to fold your reflections into one or more other sections of the paper.)
5. Implications
  • The implications for your findings might consider a set of next steps you want to take, additional research that needs to be done, and/or how your findings relate to your school or teaching context. (You might choose to create a separate Implications section for your paper or you might choose to fold your implications into another section of the paper.


2. The following action research projects were selected during Winter 2003 to provide exemplars of the possible range for teachers' action research project. The exemplar projects are arranged on this page according to the sample selected for the study and then, further sub-divided according to the manner of data collection.

I. Case Study of Individual Student(s)
A) More of a Qualitative Approach to Data Collection Used

  • Acculturation and Language Acquisition: A Look at Schumann's Acculturation Model
    PDF MSWord
    Jacob Chizzo
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Case study of a single student. Also surveys other students as well to provide context. Extensive discussion of the theoretical model he was exploring in his case study.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education

B) Case Study of Individual Student(s) -- More of a Quantitative Approach Used

  • Using Computers to Improve Reading Levels of Ninth Graders
    PDF MSWord
    Katie Cole
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Case Study of two students within one class. Data collection includes surveys, test scores, and observations.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests

II. A Study within One Class
A) More of a Qualitative Approach Used

  • Teaching Science to High School Students Who Have Limited Formal Schooling
    PDF MSWord
    Kathy Hermann
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Uses personal reflections to tell a yearlong story of how she taught one class. Research question is not fixed throughout study, but develops over time during the course of the project.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • If I Were a Camera: Some Possibilities for Visual Arts in a Reading Classroom
    PDF MSWord
    Deborah Higgins
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Opens with personal reflections and philosophy. Studies one class' reactions to a 4-6 week unit.. Extensive reflection and discussion of her conclusions.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • The Joy of Writing: Creating a Class Culture for Writing
    PDF MSWord
    Derek O'Halloran
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Uses questionnaires, self-evaluations, and student writing samples to gather data on one class. Includes samples of teacher-generated work. Includes reflections and what he might do if he could do it all over again. Uses extensive quotes. Personalized tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing
  • Assessment: A New Science Teacher's Attempt to Use Assessment as a Form of Conversation
    PDF MSWord
    Christopher O. Tracy
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Explores a set of assessment approaches with one class. Data collection includes student surveys, portfolios, and personal reflections. Personalized tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests

B) Study within One Class -- More of a Quantitative Approach Used

  • The Power of Mentoring Beginning Teachers
    PDF MSWord
    Carole Angell and Bernadette Garfinkel
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Extensive discussion of the literature on beginning teachers and mentoring. Data collection includes participant questionnaires, observations, and of five beginning teachers and two mentor teachers. Offers outcomes in relation to the methods they had implemented.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Four: Processes for Conducting Action Research and Participating in the LMTIP
  • Does Culture Affect Learning Style?
    PDF MSWord
    Marian Shaw Cutler
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Connects her project to two models found within the research literature. Subdivides one class into four groups during third and fourth quarters of the school year. Data includes observations, student surveys, and grades.
    Can be found in:
    Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education
  • Non-Fiction for Non-Readers
    PDF MSWord
    Suzanne Lotharius
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Implements instructional approach in three phases with one class. Findings based on student test scores, teacher observations, and students' written and oral responses. Offers an opinion on her findings and weighs their implications for her teaching.
    Can be found in: Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing

III. A Study across Several Classes
A) More of a Qualitative Approach Used

  • How Does the Use of Reading Strategies Improve Achievement in Science for Language Minority Students?
    PDF MSWord
    Shannon Hicok
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Literature review includes a discussion of the literature. Collects data on students in three different classes. Offers student reactions and personal reflections on each strategy used. Ties findings back to the purpose of the study. Raises additional questions to be explored.
    Can be found in: Volume Two: Mathematics, Science, Technology, Students with Special Needs, Social Studies, and Standardized Tests
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner…": The Impact of Home Visits on English Language Learners in a Multicultural High School
    PDF MSWord
    Cosby Hunt
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: First person reflective narrative examines the process of the instructional approach of home visits. Provides extensive context (e.g., thick description) of site, sample, and personal reflections.
    Can be found in: Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education

B) Across Several Classes -- More of a Quantative Approach Used

  • A Multi-Strategy Approach to Increase ESOL Student Performance on the High-Stakes Virginia End-of-Course Biology Standards of Learning (SOL) Assessment
    PDF MSWord
    Betsy-Ann DeSouza-Wyatt
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Modifies and/or adds to instructional approaches in one course (with 58 students). Includes a description of research, methods, results, and conclusion for each new approach. Compares this and last year's students' test score for this course. Offers rationales for instructional decisions made at key junctures during the school year.
    Can be found in: Volume Three: General Methods, Family Involvement, Motivation, and Intercultural Education
  • How Does Phonemic Awareness in ESL Learners Impact Reading and Writing?
    PDF MSWord
    Anthony S. Terrell
    Noteworthy aspects of this project: Comparative study between two experimental groups (who did receive the instructional intervention) and two control groups (who did not receive the intervention). Uses both quantitative and qualitative data. More formal tone to writing.
    Can be found in:
    Volume One: Language, Literacy, Reading, and Writing


3. For additional guidance as you write up your action research project, refer to the Styles Template:
   Styles Template PDF or Styles Template Word.

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