In your introduction post, you had the chance to start thinking about what inspires you as an early childhood professional to lead and create change. In this course, you will embark on a journey in which you will design your own action research proposal. Each week, your assignment will contribute to your Final Project, and you will have opportunities to revise and refine your work along the way to strengthen your Final Action Research Proposal. Essentially, you will use a “hands-on” approach to learning about action research as you build your own proposal and learn about each component. Of course, your instructor is aware that you are new to the action research process – you are not expected to be an action research expert yet, but by the end of the class you will be amazed at what you were able to accomplish and learn about action research in six weeks. While you are not required to implement the action research in the program, you may find that you want to make a positive difference by enacting your study in your setting someday.

Before you get started on designing your own action research study, you need to understand the basics of action research, how it differs from traditional action research, and why this approach to research can add value to your practices as an early childhood professional. You also need to understand the ways action research can support positive outcomes for your young children and their families. To prepare for this discussion, please read Chapter 1 of the Mills (2014) textbook and the Action Research Document (Links to an external site.). Please also watch the Action Research in the Classroom Part 1 (Links to an external site.) video.

Based on what you have learned from these sources, please respond to the following:

  • Explain the origin, purpose, and goals/rationale of action research in education.
  • Compare and contrast the goals of action research and traditional research.
  • Explain the meaning of “mixed-methods research design” and the key characteristics of this type of design.
  • Justify why action research is valuable to early childhood education professionals and provide one specific example of how it can make a positive difference in a classroom, center, school, or any other educational setting/organization.

For this discussion, you may choose the modality in which you respond to the prompt, based on your interests and strengths as a learner: