Action Research Essay

Submitted By wzager1409
Words: 839
Pages: 4

Zack Agerton and Sam Proschansky
Dr. Reece
Edu 4001
3 December 2012
Action Research Study Our student, let us refer to him as Frank, became a subject of interest during the beginning of the year due to his extreme degree of distractibility and absent-mindedness in the general classroom setting. Frank is a 5th grader who, while often participating in the general classroom setting, is also placed in special education for math and reading. He is mixed race and is the 2nd of 5 siblings, all boys. He comes from a family of low socio-economic status and has little to moderate support at home when it comes to education. While this may in part be due to the family’s lack of resources and high number of children, this lack of support is also compounded by the comparably more severe educational and behavioral needs of his brother, who suffers from an emotional behavior disorder. Aside from his level of absent-mindedness, Frank seems to be of average intelligence and, when on task, exemplifies good student behavior and higher-order thinking. Unfortunately, this is a rare occurrence and requires intense prompting in the general education setting. Our rationale for choosing this student was simply Frank’s extremely inhibited productivity levels in the general education classroom in comparison with his relatively high levels of output in his small group (three to five student) special education classroom. Thus, while working in his 5th grade classroom, Frank is highly distractible and needs constant prompting in order to finish the simplest of tasks, wherein his behavior in the small group special education classroom is exemplary. In this setting, Frank seems often to quickly reach the goals of his lesson. Hence, ultimately our question is what we can do to keep him on task in the general education classroom in the same manner as in his small group special education setting. The answer, we feel, would be in utilizing small group direct instruction within the general education setting. We have reached this conclusion, because Sam, the member of our research team in charge of observations in the inclusion setting, observed Frank’s languishing attention, after receiving specific instructions from the teacher to a large group, and then working with a paraprofessional and one other student. While surrounded by other loud, disorganized student pairs focused on different parts of the same project process, Frank often required more than ten prompts to get through writing a single sentence and would often stare off into space or begin playing with small items on his desk within the short period of time it would take the para-professional to answer the other student’s questions. In contradistinction to this, Zack, the member of our team in charge or observations in the special education classroom, noticed completely different behavior. Within his classroom of 4 students, Frank received similar specific instructions and, despite showing similar levels of distractibility, Frank was still able to complete tasks without constant prompting. As it turns out, our conclusions based on these, albeit somewhat informal, methodic observations are substantiated by professional learning organizations and academic scholarship alike. One only has to dig slightly deeper into the lexicon of pedagogy to find such studies. For instance, one Jordanian study found that high school aged students with learning disabilities scored significantly higher than their traditionally-taught peers, after being instructed with “cooperative learning” methods. Cooperative learning was defined by the study as, “an instructional arrangement for teaching academic and