By Rudd, Rick
Publication: The Agricultural Education Magazine
Date: Saturday, May 1 2004
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•The Discipline Derby
•Recognizing the complexity of teaching: Teacher inquiry as a vehicle for learnin... •The Relationship Between Ethical Decision Making and Ethical Reasoning in Inform... "My fifth period class bounces off the walls. They are the rowdiest class that I have ever had. How can I keep that class on track?" All teachers face a "fifth period" occasionally. Our challenge is to work through this difficult classroom situation to achieve effective teaching and learning! But that is often not easy to do. If we can't identify the root cause of the problem, changing it is unlikely. We ask ourselves, "What can be done to improve classroom management and effect positive student learning?" Action Research may be the answer. When the topic of research is presented to many agriculture teachers you may get a roll of the eyes, a quick attempt to change the subject, or even a quick exit! Agriculture teachers often believe they are so busy participating in school activities, FFA activities, classroom instruction, and all of their other responsibilities that research would be too difficult and time-consuming to conduct. But what if the agriculture teacher could combine teaching and research? Action research makes that connection. What is action research? It is an approach to introducing problem identification, action planning, implementation, evaluation, and reflection into your teaching (Johnson, 1993). Action research is a learning process that allows learning and creation of knowledge through critical reflection on experiences, forming abstract concepts, and testing the implications of these concepts in new situations (Johnson, 1993). Simply put, it is a way of scientifically examining the way we teach and how we can do it better, for positive student...