Thursday, September 30, 2010

Action Research Plan

Goal: Investigate increasing college readiness at the middle level. 
This topic is very personal to me from both an educator and parental perspective.  I believe that the US (K-12) education system needs reform.  We have some great programs and opportunities for our students but I feel that students would become more focused on the things that really matter if we increased college readiness and did a better job of making families aware of expectations from colleges and universities and preparing children for college entrance exams early.  

Description of study:  Explore ways to increase college readiness at the middle level.  Research past studies:  Explore testing (ACT), Duke’s TIP program, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, Research past studies that others have deemed effective, cross reference findings to put together a program that works for students on my campus, virtual school, high school classes, and educate parents and students about ways to pay for college.  I plan to use the internet, test data from Eduphoria, interviews, and surveys to tie all of the data together. 

Operational definition of your target population:    The target population is the students of Spring Oaks Middle School.  Other populations who will benefit from this research are:  parents, educators, administrators, and future SOMS students. 

How will you select your sample:  Each component of the survey will be handled differently:  TIP sets its own requirements:  Students must score in the 95th percentile or higher on a state level test (TAKS) or score 125 on an IQ test. I will select students who may not be in that 95th percentile but exhibit a tremendous amount of motivation when it comes to education.  Lastly, I will select random students to test and record the results to compare to those counterparts in the 95th plus percentile.  All samples must total at least 20% of Spring Oaks Middle Schools population. 

Rationale for your sample size: I feel that if a school district is truly successful then we must work to educate more than our top students.  We need to create programs that appeal to all different levels of students. 

Conducting research:  I plan to use the internet to review past studies that have been deemed successful, Eduphoria to review student data, interview staff, survey staff, students, and parents, and lastly participate in a training to educate parents and students about financing higher education.  Below are a few websites and sources that I plan to use for my Action Research Plan:

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