Status Quo

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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. 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....
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