Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Action Research : identifying common problematic situation in the classroom, and taking actions to solve them.

April 8, 2009

Everyday in our work as teachers, we face different teaching and learning problems which demand us to think about new strategies for helping our students to improve their learning process and look for innovations to do better classes. Although, it implies to consult some professional literature and establish some parameters to follow on, it can not be considered a research. A research involves problem-posing not just problem-solving; it is motivated by a quest to improve and it is concerned with changing situations, not jut interpreting them. Moreover, it must be a systematic process which involves collecting evidence to be analyzed.

For the reasons before mentioned and taking into account the definition offered by Sagor (2000) that indicates that an action research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by a person or people empowered to take an action, and that the primary reason for engaging in action research is improving refining their future actions, I consider myself as an action researcher who is in the process of examining my own educational practice, using techniques to identify problems, developing research question bases on my curiosity about teaching and learning in the classroom, and systematically collecting data from and with my students to be analyzed and finally shared the findings with students, colleagues, and members of the educational community.

After a period of observation, analysis of students' works and direct conversation with my students I decided studying an aspect related to the writing process. For this reason, I am interested on knowing if the short story writing in EFL classes can be improved by using an e-portfolio dossier through the implementation of the process and genre approaches in students of eleventh grade of a public school in Bogota. This research study is going to be carried out to analyze the reason why the students of the INEM Santiago Perez, do not take pride in their written work and do not care about the way their written works are developed and presented.

I am aware that students are not concerned about how to write and what aspects must be taken into account to present them appropriately. They do not know that writing is a process which needs a period of training, and requires the use of different strategies to develop competence. According to Tribble (1996), they have to understand that writing is a social activity in which a writer and a reader are involved. They must be aware about the fact that if the reader does not understand the purpose of a text, communication will not be successful and the process will not be accomplished.

Moreover, students have to learn how to take advantage of technology on writing, what resources are available on line to practice and improve learning skills, and why the e-portfolio dossier can be a very important tool for the assessment and improvement of their writing ability.