Developing and retaining highly qualified teachers continues to be a critical need (Berry, 2004; Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003). As more teachers retire and school populations continue to grow, an increasing number of schools, universities, and states are implementing programs to ease induction, develop quality teachers, and inform educational practices. Therefore, many educators are now turning to action research to achieve these goals.
The purpose of Grogan, Donaldson, & Simmons (2007) article Disrupting the Status Quo is to make an argument that unlike traditional research, action research encourages school personnel to systematically develop a question, gather data, and then analyze that data to improve their practice. The article addresses the key question to the appropriateness and relevance of educational leaders undertaking action research projects as the capstone of their doctoral studies (Grogan, Donaldson, & Simmons, 2007).
The most important takeaway in this article is that traditional educational preparation programs and the hierarchical structure of public schools tend to perpetuate compliance and maintenance of the status quo. Furthermore, there is a need for transformative learning to help leaders deconstruct conformity to the many social and cultural canons, which have permeated U. S. schools to the detriment of our students.
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The authors believe that an action research dissertation and mentoring is an essential component in any educational leadership curriculum that aspires to foster the critical, reflective learning that is the hallmark of human and organizational transformation. Gilles & Cramer (2003) supports a combination of appropriate coursework and mentoring help new teachers transition quickly into solid, thoughtful, and strategic teachers. The key concept we need to understand is that action research and the fact that the Ed.
D is a professional degree does not minimize the rigor or prestige in comparison to a Ph. D. Since the research, focus of an Ed. D is different from that of a Ph. D, action research focuses on generating knowledge that is workable, make sense, and is credible in more than one setting as opposed to acquiring knowledge for its own sake (Grogan, Donaldson, & Simmons, 2007). The main assumption that the author is making is that there has to be a change in order to transform the learning process. If we take this line of reasoning serious then there should be no kid left behind.
The new generation of educational leaders will also have the tools needed to think critically, identify and solve problems facing their institution of higher learning. If we fail to take this line of reasoning seriously, we could end up in worse economic and educational status. Berry, B. (2004). Recruiting and retaining “highly qualified teachers” for hard-to-staff schools. NASSP Bulletin, 88(638), 5-27. Darling-Hammond, L. & Sykes, G. (2003). Wanted: A national teacher supply policy for education: The right way to meet the “highly qualified teacher” challenge.
Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11(33). Retrieved [22 July 2011] from http://epaa. asu. edu/epaa/v11n33/v11n3 Gilles, C. & Cramer, M. (2003, April). The impact of school-university partnerships on classroom teachers and their teaching. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Grogan M. , Donaldson, J. & Simmons J. (2007, May 19). Disrupting the Status Quo: The Action Research Dissertation as a Transformative Strategy. Retrieved from http://cnx. org/content/m14529/1. 2/.
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