Inquiry/Action Research and Service Learning are aligned with the School Improvement Plan
These are two key features of the Towson PDS Internship, required in our PDS model. These features can be separate projects, e.g., an action research project on student achievement using a math strategy in a classroom and a service project on a reading club. Also, action research and service learning can be combined. For example, data collected on a service learning project involving math tutoring before or after school can additionally be used for action research provided the data are analyzed and shared to inform next steps in the research cycle. Inquiry/Action Research and Service Learning projects can be implemented by individual interns or group of interns (whole cohorts or small groups). Teachers, mentors, and/or school administrators should be involved in the suggestion, identification, and approval phase of the projects.
“The learning community that evolves through a PDS offers an ideal medium for inquiry and action research surrounding teaching and learning. Inquiry groups and/or action research groups and the training necessary to participate in these groups are an integral part of a PDS partnership” (Professional Development Schools: An Implementation Manual, Maryland Partnership for Teaching and Learning K-16 Superintendents and Deans Committee, 2003).
“Action research is a deliberate, solution-oriented
investigation that is group or personally owned and conducted.
It is characterized by spiraling cycles of problem
identification, systematic data collection, reflection,
analysis, data-driven action taken, and, finally, problem
redefinition” (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982).
Below are some research projects that involve mentor teachers working with interns. (click on the title to view/download).
Towson Interns Display Their Action Research
MSDE PDS Conference, 2008: