Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tugasan 2 Journal Review (Part 1)

Title : Pupils as action researchers: improving something important in our lives
Journal : Educational Journal of Living Theories
Author : Branko Bognar and Marica Zovko
Year : 2009
Volume : 1
Number: 1
Page : 1-49

Although action research is developing all along these while in educational practice, yet, the role of participating pupils in action research has not fully explored. Realizing action research is not just about teaching strategies to gain better educational results but it is life itself, this particular research on 10-year-old students taking over the whole process of action research has been carried out. This research is only suitable to be done in child-oriented school whose main purpose is the development of the creative potentials of all participants. This research also shows that action research is meaningful only if students are engaged with it on their own interest, self-chosen values and on the basis of their own needs.

Some literature reviews have been done prior to the research, by referring to research ideas from Kurt Lewin, John Collier, Cooke, Hodgkins, Lippitt, Whitehead, Kemmis, McTaggart, McNiff, Stenhouse, Hegel and Bognar. Thereafter, Branko Bognar with the collaboration of Marica Zovko has started with this action research on the basis of assuming action research as a process of systematic and productive actions. Both Branko and Marica share the same educational values in the context of teaching and learning process, which emphasize much on freedom and creativity in teaching and learning. Realizing through a prior action research done by Bill Atweh’s, Clare Christensen’s and Louise Dornan’s (1998), that an action research in education will not give positive outcomes if the sample students cannot feel that they themselves are included in the research and they do not know how a particular action research may help them in their learning process, Branko and Marica have concluded that a very important part of an action research inquiry is to be the selection of concern made by students themselves.

The action research planned by Marica is different from Branko as Marica’s research concentrates on involving pupils actively in action research, while for Branko, his aim is to help teachers in the process of their action research. The research diaries are being posted on the internet forum regularly so that other action researchers can have discussion and always being updated with the progression of the research. As for data collection, video and audio records and photographs are the main sources in this research.

As a start, a group-interview has been conducted on Marica’s students to determine their understanding on their roles in this research. Students have been given full freedom to decide on whether to participate in this research or not.

The research is designed in that way, in which students are firstly being familiarized with some of the process of data-gathering, involving questionnaires, interviews, rating-scales and a research-diary through plays and engaging in some interesting activities. Then, students are to define their own values, and this followed by the determination of the shared values among all the students. Each morning, a conversation regarding action research is being conducted and any student can share their finding and actions with their classmates. After the morning meeting, further activities are being arranged in order to figure out the best way for implementing the suggestions given by students according to their values made. Data gathering is done through the form of playing and doing some stimulating activities. Throughout the process, students who are actively engaged in action research have become critical friends to their classmates, who can voice out their opinions, suggestions or critic on particular action research done by their friends. After 2 weeks of the action research being carried out by students, they start to analyze on their work. Meaning, the students are having self-evaluation as an element in completing the cycle of their action research. They tolerate praise and criticism and share their findings to the classmates. After the analysis presentation, some of the student action researchers feel satisfied with their action research and improvements, whereas some start to find their way out for better improvement. Following step, the students are then being taught of making reports on their action research being done and present it to others. At the final stage of the action research, reflection is being done using questionnaire. As the students act actively in their action research, Marica’s job is as a guide to them whenever they face with crises.

In Marica’s research, some students have not participated at all in the action research since the very first stage. Some students engaged actively in the research by making their own values, planning relevant activities to bring out the meaning of their set values. Some students participated at the early stage of the research, which is defining their own values, but later on, they started to loss interest and confident on carry on with the following steps. They seem to be lost somewhere else in the process, which the reason could be worrying on the unchangeable of the current condition.

As for Branko, his main role in this research is to guide Marica in helping students to become action researcher themselves. By doing so, he keeps track on Marica’s research diary from time to time and feedback accordingly. During the half way when the action research is towards an end, Branko has helped out Marica to check on whether the students are really understand with what they have done regarding action research, by conducting another group-interview. The answers from those participated students are satisfied and that have clearly shown that they are in full understanding on their own action research. To help Marica further in her action research, Branko has recommended 1 of his collaborative action researchers’ classroom to become validation group for Marica’s student action researchers’ reports on their action research inquiries. Thereafter, Marica repeats the whole process of action research again in her classroom so make all students clear on each steps involved.

Till then, just to share…
The comparison on the similarities & differentiations on samples, setting, procedure & analysis data are to be followed.

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