Action Research Project

Action Research Project

Applying your passion, improving learning outcomes

Teachers in the MAED: Curriculum and Instruction program are passionate about improving learning outcomes. Action Research is how they dig deeply to inform, expand, and apply their passion with hands-on scholarly projects that make a difference for their students.

Action Research is a real-world scholarly project in which you'll be highly engaged — from selecting a research question that has meaning and relevance for you, through the planning and implementation of a best-practice intervention to improve learning. It's relevant research you'll put to work in your own classroom. It's scholarship that makes a difference. It's academic work that will challenge you and improve learning outcomes for your students.

Getting started

In the MAED: Curriculum and Instruction program, it's never too soon to get started on action research — you'll get started in your very first course, where you'll begin reviewing literature on your research topic. You'll continue to reflect on your research questions throughout the program and build a foundation for research applications.

You will begin work on your research project during the first half of your fourth term, when you take EDUC 665D: Introduction to Action Research and the first course in the project itself, EDUC 891D: Action Research Project.

In these courses, you will identify and discuss elements of collaborative action research. You will complete a review of the literature, formulate a research question and determine methods for collecting data.

Finishing up

To wrap up your research, in your last term you'll take EDUC 892D: Action Research Project, the final course in the action research sequence. You will study data collection techniques and strategies for analyzing and interpreting data. You will complete the action research project report and determine appropriate actions from the research.

In this phase, you will also give a public presentation of the action research project in the final course, EDUC 680D: Teachers as Educational Leaders. You will present to a group of colleagues at a place of your choosing, such as a faculty meeting.

Research topics: endless possibilities

What will action research look like for you?  The possibilities are as limitless as your passion for improving student learning, and your desire for innovation in your work as a classroom teacher. Here are a few samples of recent action research experiences:

Kelly Adrian, Abbigail Volek, Christa Ranweiler are primary teachers in Belle Plaine, Minn. who are dedicated to helping young students become better readers.  They collaborated as a team to research the following question: What effect will common formative assessments have on teachers’ abilities to help first-grade students meet fluency standards?  Read more »

Can ​supplementary reading activities involving cultural topics increase reading proficiency of secondary Spanish heritage learners? Gayle Brownlow of Albert Lea, Minn. decided to find out. Read more »

​Patricia Price wanted to dig deep into effects of a flipped classroom model in her ninth-grade physical science class. The results are helping her improve student engagement — and helping her learners take greater responsibility for their education.  Read more »

More MAED: Curriculum and Intruction action research projects are available in St. Kate's online Sophia system »