What qualities make up quality research? What are the responsibilities of an educator looking for valid research? Today I begin to explore responses to these two questions while I am studying and earning my Master’s of Arts Degree in Teaching from San Diego Christian College. Professor Koryn Smith has been guiding us through the formation of our research curiosities and narrowing down to topics that would be suitable for action research in the classroom. In this episode I will explore some of the guidance and the checklists behind narrowing down a proper research topic.

We are using the Geoffrey Mills textbook, Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher. There are several helpful checklists in selecting a proper research question for a subject of interest. Our book first asks us to chase our passions. What would be engaging? What subjects have depth worth exploring? What are the questions that we would want to dive into, and what conclusions might be research appropriate?

Then we narrowed down those choices and brainstormed several ideas. We posted our ideas to the student discussion board and offered insights and criticism to each other. This process was helpful in acquiring meaningful feedback, refining our focus, and finding questions we had not previously considered. This feedback helped some adjust their approach, or find a new topic altogether. It was also an enlightening process to see how colleagues think differently, have various curiosities, and can all help sharpen the ideas of one another.

The points that I found most helpful in the San Diego Christian College format is the gradual build up to research. Anyone who has not done research recently will appreciate this aspect. Each week is a building block. We feel more prepared as students and are getting acquainted with each step in the action research project. This training is helpful, deliberate, and meaningful.

References: Mills, Geoffrey. (2018). Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher. New York: Pearson.

I am looking for answers to how to look for answers properly this week. I am also beginning to plan my literature review. I will talk about that experience in the next vlog. Thanks for watching!

For more information please visit https://sdcc.edu/graduate/master-arts-teaching/