May Your Journey be Your Destination!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Action Research, Change, and Leadership

Change is something we humans have a strong aversion to. However, there are times when change is necessary not only to growth but for survival as well. If leaders choose a road of successes, change is an integral part of their professional lives. I rant today about change as I have found that it is the key component for a successful leadership role. For my master's degree in Instructional Educational Technology course entitled, Research, I am required to reflect and describe what I have learned about Action Research, also known as Administrative Inquiry. I do believe the most valuable piece of information I absorbed this week had to do with the difference between Action Research and traditional Educational Research. That valuable component that differentiates the two is change. Once the data is collected and analyzed, change must occur so that the professional development can be considered Action Research. Something has to happen to improve that topic researched, hence the "action" portion of its name.
As I read our textbook, Leading with Passion and Knowledge, by Nancy Fichtman Dana, the importance of sharing has its advantages. Feedback is an essential part of growth and many of these tools allow for social interaction of some sort. I found that she was so correct when she stated that " educators in charge of facilitating the thinking and learning of others, we have not been socialized to think that our own thinking and learning matters!" I could not agree with her more! I also noted that leaders have a tendency to put this by the wayside because they feel this is not as important as many of the other things on their "lists". This is exactly why leaders should take advantage of the Web 2.0 tools available to us such as blogging. This online journal provides a medium to share ideas, successes, new information, as well as pitfalls and setbacks.

1. Dana Fichtman, Nancy (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
2. Harris, S., Edmonson, S., and Combs, J. (2010). Examining what we do to improve our schools: 8 steps to improve our schools. Eye on Education Press.

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