Change Leadership for Differentiated Education Environment

Change Leadership for Differentiated Education Environment

Change Leadership for Differentiated Education Environment

n EDU671, you identified the type of data, the frequency of collection, tools and have also explored topics related to ethical consideration of this information. You are in the process of collecting data for your action research in the field at this time.

Be reminded that you’re the approved Action Research Informed Consent allows your implementation of this action research intervention or innovation in a specialized setting as follows:

  • Those currently employed in a classroom setting.
  • Those currently employed in a non-classroom or educational setting.
  • Those not employed but implementing the intervention or innovation with family members, yourself, or your own children

You are also in the final week of your action research intervention. Through this process, your experience reinforces action research as being cyclical (Buczynski & Hansen, 2014; Mills, 2014) and for the best outcome we must engage in critical reflection of the data (Volante & Beckett, 2011).

Vital to the process of collecting data is the continual alignment to your research question(s). Equally important is how you will systematically collect multiple sources of data and present the finding to arise at comprehensive conclusions at the termination of your study. The quality of your data analysis is a strong predictor of the ease with which you can manage the data but how you can develop sound findings at the end of your study. Consider: How will you triangulate this information? How will you continue to build upon this information in order to make sense and correlate your data to your outcomes?

The focus of this assignment is to reflect on the data and to prepare for how to analyze in order to answer the research question. We want to answer the question of “So what?” (Mills, 2014, p.132) This is a critical stage of your action research! In this assignment, you evaluate the main themes emerging from your data thus far and how they are or are not supporting your research questions. For example, depending on what you are seeing in the data, you may have assessed that your research question should have been stated in a slightly different manner in order to more authentically capture the specific data. Or, perhaps the data tells you that one of your questions was irrelevant or that an additional question with a slightly different focus should have been asked.

Construct your assignment to meet the content and written communication expectations below.

Content Expectations

  • Themes (2 points): Describe the themes emerging from the data collection.
  • Personal Experiences (2 points): Analyze how the preliminary findings relate to your personal experiences using specific examples.
  • Implications. (3 points): Describe the implications of your data that can be used to answer your research question(s).

Written Communication Expectations

  • Page Requirement (.5 points): Three-to-four pages, not including title, references, and appendix pages.
  • APA Formatting (.5 points): Use APA formatting consistently throughout the assignment.
  • Syntax and Mechanics (.5 points): Display meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling and grammar.
  • Source Requirement (.5 points): Use no less than two scholarly sources in addition to the Buczynski and Hansen (2014) and Mills (2009) textbooks, providing compelling evidence to support ideas, and if applicable, reference to original project if enhancement of existing project occurred. All sources on the reference page need to be used and cited correctly within the body of the assignment.


Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

  1. Utilize strategies for writing about research.
  2. Reflection on implication of data/outcomes for school/community/organization.
  3. Employ effective practices as a group member, facilitator, and leader.


Week Four is a pivotal week of learning because you are in another critical week of data collection as part of the implementation of your research. By now, you have preliminary ideas of the patterns and themes emerging in your action research intervention. As indicated below, this week we focus on the fourth phase of the Action Research cycle, Data Collection and Apply Changes:

  1. Research Proposal
  2. Implementation and Data Collection
  3. Data collection and Initial Data Analysis
  4. Data Collection and Apply Changes
  5. Data Analysis and Interpretation
  6. Share Process and Results

Additionally, during Week Four, you share your observations in the discussion forum and progress towards the completion of your research in the field. Having meaningful discourse around these impressions assists you in evaluating the leadership and communication styles, shared decision making processes, and your own perception of the effectiveness of your research to make informed decisions about the data being collected.

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Instructor Guidance

Week 4


As you were reminded in Week Two and Three, remember, it is a good idea to look ahead to the upcoming weeks to prepare for the final project of this course. As you already know, this final project is a comprehensive and formal presentation of your findings. This week the continuation of your data collection process will continue while you begin to interpret the preliminary ideas of the patterns and themes that are emerging in your action research intervention.

Thinking ahead now will help as we move closer to this part of the course. Ask questions now in our Ask Your Instructor area of our course room if you are unclear about any of the requirements of our course.

For a successful week of learning, please be sure you review and are familiar with the learning outcomes. This information can be located on the Week Four overview page, which is the first page seen when the name of unit in the navigation menu for the course is selected.


Week Four Overview

In Week Three you discovered your motivation for your leadership, used modern web based tools to present this information and began the process of analyzing your data gleaned during the intervention stage of your research. Week Four continues your data collection and the triangulation of this information applies to the Week Four coursework.


action research 4
Figure 4: EDU675 Action Research Cycle, Week 4 Focus

Week Four Elaboration

Referencing again the action research cycle, this week you are in your final week of implementing your intervention and collecting data. Next week, you will begin the process of examining and formally analyzing this information in response to your research question.

Making Sense of the Data

Mills (2014) supports the idea of continual improvements through the collaborative process for the purpose of helping researchers make adjustments that will inform the outcome of the research process.
The analysis of the data is a process of telling a convincing story about the conclusions that your data led you to make.

Thus far in the course, you have planned your action research with meticulous detail and have observed in the field and collected data. This week you will continue to collect data in the field data and begin to examine the trends and patterns that are emerging from this information.

The process of analyzing data is an ongoing activity, which not only answers your research question but also provides the direction for future data collection and research endeavors. The ultimate goal of action research is to use your findings to make effective changes or choices. Organizing the information into charts, tables or other format can help you make sense of what are you learning. As the researcher, it is your job to make sense of this important information in order to help others understand the meaning and importance.

Imperfect Data?

The benefit of the process of action research is not only in its ability to allow the researcher to theorize and predict based on the process of data collection and analysis, but also to create opportunities to learn by doing. Incorporating the phases of planning, experimenting, reflecting and discussing permits the researcher to bring about change in the school or other organization.

But what happens if the data doesn’t quite answer the research question?

Reporting the findings of the data calls for analysis to articulate the relation to the research questions. There may be times when, as Mills (2014) states that the researcher should “flag…what pieces of the puzzle are still missing and identify any remaining questions for which you have not been able to provide answers” (p.142). It is entirely possible that your data may not provide the expected results. If this is the case for you, the essential part of this is to respond to what the data tells you (Protheroe, 2009).

Assuming the data doesn’t appear to directly answer your research question, know that this is still valuable information for the research process. Identify what is missing. Determine what might be needed the next time. Explain what might be done to better understand the findings in relation to the individual research question (Mills, 2014). All of this information will yield a strong final project!

Single Cycle of Action Research


single cycle of action research
Figure 5, Action Research Cycles

Since this course only allows for a single cycle of the action research intervention, continual analysis will only be conducted as far as our previous three weeks of data have been collected. This constitutes a single cycle of the action research process. As you can see by referencing Figure 5, the action research cycle can continue on indefinitely while ongoing information is obtained to continually make improvements in whatever activity is studied. An important step for the purposes of the completion of this course is to successfully complete a single action research cycle as pictured above in “Cycle 1.”

Data Analysis

Chapter 12 of your textbook details the importance of and “how to” of data analysis. This section of your textbook is a wonderful resource for your work during this week and Week Five. Week Four supports the continued process of the action research cycle by continuing to collect data in the field and beginning to analyze its meaning. Collecting multiple sources of data is referred to as triangulation. You are preparing to engage in this process by building on the information obtained in order to make sense of your data.

An important point is that your analysis should be compelling. Further, the credibility of your action research will depend on the quality of the data used to support its conclusions. A good place to start in this though process is to go back to your original research question and ask yourself why this proposal was important to you. What was the intent of the research question? Why would anyone care? Answering the question of “So What?” will further facilitate the justification of the research and to make sense of the data that has been collected.

The process of interpreting your data is a continual alignment to your research question. What is the change you hoped to see through the implementation of your action research intervention? The function of this practice is to help researchers and leaders make adjustment that will best inform and change educational outcomes (Mills, 2014).

This action research intervention that has been implemented, paired with the successful exercise of leadership practices will improve the teaching and learning process because it causes us respond to the needs of the educational environment. Moreover, your own leadership has been exercised through this research process as well. As we previously learned, there are multiple theories that support the notion that effective leaders can be fostered by the thoughtful attainment of certain skills (Senge, 1990). Action research is one way to build your capacity in changing your classroom, school site, or organization.


Week Four Assessment Summary

Discussion 1: Observation Reconnaissance

You will share information to key questions pertaining to the process of answering your research question, the degree to which the data collection is yielding useful information, and how your leadership skills have been realized. This assignment requires that you discuss the status of your action research project and the alignment of your data collection methods. You will respond to others who have differing ideas in order to comment on topics such as analysis of the formative data, leadership, or other information pertaining to their findings. Be sure you engage in a meaningful initial post and responses. This is your opportunity to gain feedback from those in our class who are also conducting similar research. Thoroughly address all elements of the discussion prompt and demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the topic while making connections to the course content.

Assignment 1: Formative Evaluation – Structure the Data

You will have the opportunity to reflect on the data that has been collected for this research question in order to answer the analytical question of “So What?” or why is this research important? You are asked to identify and writing about the main themes that are emerging from your data and how they may or may not be supporting your research question. Working towards the highest criteria in the assignment rubric is an educated approach to meeting the assignment expectations.



Buczynski, S., & Hansen, C. B. (2014). The change leader in education: Roles and strategies in the differentiated environment. Bridgepoint Education.

Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Action research project [Graphic]. Retrieved from…

Mills, G. E. (2014). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Pearson Education, Inc.

Protheroe, N. (2009). Improving teaching and learning with data-based decisions: Asking the right questions and acting on the answers. Retrieved from…

Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Doubleday/Currency.

Volante, & Beckett (2011). Formative assessment and the contemporary classroom: synergies and Tensions between research and practice. Canadian Journal of Education, 34(2), 239-255.

Solution Preview

The data collection of the research is a continua’s process that calls for evaluation as it goes on in an effort to ensure that the correct thing is done. In this case, school violence is my topic of interest, and it is notable that the people that are involved have to do some evaluation…………………………….


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