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will analyze a quantitative research study. To complete this analysis, you will use the Week 7 Template: Action Research Study Report [DOC] document to respond to a series of prompts and questions aimed at four different parts of the research study:

Introduction.
Methodology.
Results.
Discussion/Conclusion.

This assignment will give you practice reading, comprehending, and analyzing a very sophisticated, peer-reviewed action research article. This skill set will serve you well as you begin the process of acquiring, reading, and comprehending quantitative literature related to your intended proposed applied improvement project (AIP). Even if you do not have a clearly defined problem of practice, you probably have an idea of the general area in which your AIP will investigate. There is no time like the present to begin developing your annotated bibliography because you must become completely knowledgeable about the literature surrounding your topic in order to develop an empirically sound AIP. Your goal should be to achieve “theoretical saturation” with the literature in your field. This means that any new article you encounter reflects another article or idea with which you are already familiar, which will provide a solid basis for developing your project.
Instructions
The following research article provides an example of how quantitative research methods can be applied to understanding structural relationships between human capital investments and long-term organizational outcomes. Read the article carefully and review the Creswell and Creswell text, the Pyrczak and Oh text, and other course resources and materials as necessary: 

Mostofo, J., & Zambo, R. (2015). Improving instruction in mathematics methods classroom through action research. Education Action Research, 23(4), 497–513.

Once you have read and made notes on the article, complete the template (linked above) to help you analyze the article. Address all prompts in the document and answer all questions. Include a list of properly-formatted references at the end.   the Article, Template and Annotated Template are attached
1

4

Action Research Study Report
Insert your Name Here
School of Education, Capella University
EDD8040: Research Design for Practitioners
Insert the Instructor’s Name Here
Insert the Assignment Due Date Here

Important Writing Instructions

This assignment needs be written in the third person voice. Do not write in the first-person voice (I . . .). There should be none of you and your voice in this assignment or the course project. However, for those questions that ask you your opinion or how something applies to your Applied Improvement Project, you can answer in the first-person voice. Do not use awkward language such as The researcher . . . or The learner when referring to yourself. Do not refer to yourself unless you are answering those questions that ask you your opinion or how something applies to your Applied Improvement Project. Do not write in the second person voice (writing that uses the language you or your).
Always present the study and other literature with past tense verbs (APA 6th ed. p. 78); for example: Mostofo and Zambo (2015) conducted . . .
Scholarly writing is meant to be read and interpreted literally. Please avoid slang, colloquialisms, anthropomorphisms, and conversational writing (refer to APA p. 68). Instead be clear, precise, and accurate.

At the doctoral level, most of your writing should involve summarizing or paraphrasing the literature. However, for an assignment like this one in which you conduct an in-depth review and analysis of a single study, there will be instances when you need to use a direct quote. For direct quotes with fewer than 40 words, put quotation marks around the quoted text and include within the in-text citation, the author’s name, year, and page or para. number from which the quote came. For direct quotes with 40 or more words, put in block format (See APA p. 92 for examples) and include within the in-text citation, the author’s name, year, and page or para. number from which the quote came.
There might be instances in which you use a direct quote that came from the article’s literature review. If the article’s authors use a quote or cite another author and you want to use that text as a direct text, be sure to quote your authors as the secondary sources. Here is an example of a direct quote using Kim (2015) as the secondary source:
Zula and Chermack (2007) stated “HRD academicians have virtually ignored human capital theory” (as cited in Kim, 2015, p 8). Please note that you do not include Zula and Chermack in your reference citations. Only include Kim (2015) in your reference citations.
Here is another example in which paraphrasing is used: Not much research has been conducted on the impact of human capital on organizational performance (Cho & McLean, 2000, as cited in Kim, 2015). Again, do not include Cho and McLean in your reference citations. Only include Kim (2015) in your reference citations.
Do not write with bullet points. Instead use complete sentences developed within coherent paragraphs. Use transitional language to smoothly move the flow of the thought.
Apply APA formatting rules and adhere to APA writing style guidelines.
Here is an important self-assessment final step to help ensure you do as well as you can with the assignment: Self-assess your assignment by reviewing the corresponding scoring guide and compare the distinguished column criteria to your draft and revise as necessary.
Please remove these instructions before posting and write your sections in black font.

Introduction

Briefly identify the action research study by following APA writing style, which means citing the authors’ last names and year of publication. When identifying and discussing the study do not include the article’s title in your text as that is not how APA style writing is done. The title can be found in the reference citations below. Instead follow APA writing style and include only the author’s last name and the year the article was published (refer to APA pp. 174-175 and p. 177 Table 6.1).
Briefly describe the key features of the action research study. Describe the purpose of the study. Did the study attempt to resolve a problem or improve a process? Identify the variables and/or contextual factors. List the research questions ensuring that if you use direct quotes that you use quotation marks and an in-text citation. Describe how the study represents and embodies an action research approach. Refer to your Stringer (2014) text pp. 5-13.

Research Theory Framework

Briefly summarize the research-theory framework. Upon what theory or model or previous research is the action research study positioned? or put another way: What theory or model and or previous research was used to describe the foundation for this action research study? Also describe the contextual factors and related research.

In addition, answer the following questions (note – please do not remove the five questions):

1. Mostofo and Zambo (2015) chose Vygotsky Space as the theoretical framework. Additionally, later in the article, the authors asserted that,” Jim’s goal was to create an innovation that allowed preservice teachers the opportunity to teach more in the methods classroom before teaching in the field-experience classroom and to systematically investigate the effect of this” (p. 499). Based on the chosen theoretical framework, reflect on the degree to which you think this framework was appropriate for and aligned to the intended purpose of this action research project?
2. Mostofo and Zambo (2015) collaborated with a variety of colleagues to develop this action research intervention. In light of this process, reflect on what potential roles stakeholder collaboration might have on the conceptualization and development of your AIP?

Methodology

Briefly describe the study sample (number of participants, where they were studied, and their demographics). Describe the intervention and the cyclical nature of the study. Describe the study’s instruments to collect quantitative and/or qualitative data (note that the primary instrument through which data are collected, analyzed, described, understood and interpreted is the research – the researcher is the primary instrument), and the procedures used to collect and analyze the data. Note how threats to validity and any ethical considerations were addressed, referring to the Creswell and Creswell (2018) text and/or your CITI training. If the threats to validity and ethical issues and considerations were not discussed, that omission is a weakness and limitation in the study and indicate that these were missing.

In addition, answer the following questions:

3. What are your reflections on collecting and analyzing qualitative data to demonstrate the impact of a potential AIP?

Results

Include a comprehensive summary of the major findings of the study. Remember – at the doctoral level you should use direct quotes sparingly because the bulk of your writing should consist of summarizing and paraphrasing.

In addition, answer the following question:  
4. Was the data analysis sufficient to verify the impact of the intervention? Why or why not?

Discussion/Conclusion

Describe how Mostofo and Zambo’s findings fit into the systems literature (the term systems literature refers to the related relevant literature presented in the study’s literature review). In other words, what theoretical concepts, assumptions and or expectations from the literature review were confirmed by the findings and what does that confirmation mean? Describe the strengths and limitations of the findings. How might the study have been improved? Describe Mostofo and Zambo’s recommendations for future research and implications for practice.

In addition, answer the following question:

5. Based on the recommendations for further research or any other aspect of the study, describe how an Applied Improvement Project could be developed to address the issue being described or a similar issue. What intervention might be implemented for preservice teachers related to your area of interest or discipline?

References

References go on a separate page. Ensure references are in the hanging indent format and are properly APA formatted; refer to APA Publication Manual 6th edition (2010) Chapter 7 for guidance and examples. Please remove these instructions before posting and write your sections in black font.
Mostofo, J., & Zambo, R. (2015). Improving instruction in mathematics methods classroom through action research. Education Action Research, 23(4), 497-513. doi:10.1080/09650792.2015.1019903
Stringer, E. T. (2014). Action research: A handbook for practitioners (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Improving instruction in the mathematics methods classroom
through action research

Jameel Mostofoa* and Ron Zambob

aCollege of Education, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ, USA; bElementary
Education, Arizona State University, Glendale, AZ, USA

(Received 13 August 2014; accepted 12 February 2015)

There is a continuing emphasis in the United States on improving students’
mathematical abilities, and one approach is to better prepare teachers. To investi-
gate the potential usefulness of Lesson Study to better prepare teachers, one
author set out to conduct action research on his classroom practice. Specifically,
he sought to determine whether using Lesson Study with preservice secondary
mathematics teachers might better prepare students to be teachers. The partici-
pants were preservice teachers who were enrolled in a mathematics methods
course in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at a private university.
The researcher served as a participant observer who implemented an innovation,
Lesson Study, in his classroom and observed the effect on students. Lesson
Study engaged the preservice teachers in collaboratively creating, field testing,
revising, and re-teaching lessons in their field placement classroom. Data were
weekly reflections and summative interviews of the preservice teachers. The
researcher found that Lesson Study was an effective strategy for enhancing the
efficacy of preservice teachers. Action research showed the importance of collab-
orative lesson preparation, practice teaching, and observations of other teachers.
The preservice teachers successfully transitioned from teaching in the methods
classroom to their field-experience classroom, which enhanced their confidence
as they entered student-teaching.

Keywords: action research; Lesson Study; mathematics; preservice teachers

Introduction

Preparing effective teachers of mathematics is one of the most urgent problems fac-
ing those in teacher education because teaching is very complex (Hiebert et al.
2007; Morris, Hiebert, and Spitzer 2009). However, despite its complexity, some
novices presume it to be easy (Grossman et al. 2009). In fact, many preservice
teachers believe that teaching is simply common sense and professional study is not
needed (Ball and Cohen 1999; Kennedy 1999; Munby, Russell, and Martin 2001).
The challenge for teacher educators is to provide preservice teachers with opportuni-
ties to develop habits of continued professional learning and, through action
research, investigate what they try (Chassels and Melville 2009; Ganesh and
Matteson 2010; Hiebert et al. 2007).

Planning and teaching lessons can be overwhelming for preservice teachers in the
early stages of their development (Carrier 2011). Therefore, providing opportunities

*Corresponding author. Email: [email protected]

© 2015 Educational Action Research

Educational Action Research, 2015
Vol. 23, No. 4, 497–513, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09650792.2015.1019903

to learn by doing with careful coaching by experts in low-risk settings is critical for
preservice teachers to begin learning their practice (Schon 1987). The university
education classroom can provide these low-risk settings through role-playing and prac-
tice teaching in an environment of support, feedback, and investigation (Fernandez
2005; Ganesh and Matteson 2010; Grossman et al. 2009).

Unfortunately, methods courses (courses focused on the methodology of teach-
ing) often seem far removed from the reality of an actual classroom (Cohan and
Honigsfeld 2006; Grossman et al. 2009). Methods courses are typically taught
through lectures and discussion of theory and research, and are often not focused on
the actual on-your-feet practice of teaching (Fernandez 2005). Much of the knowl-
edge needed to teach effectively ‘is situated in practice, [and] it must be learned in
practice’ (Ball and Cohen 1999, 3–4).

Jim, the first author, teaches in the College of Education in a private university
in the southwestern region of the United States. Ron, the second author, was his dis-
sertation chair. All first-person references in this article refer back to Jim as he was
the practitioner for this study. The participants in this study (preservice teachers)
were undergraduates who were studying secondary education and majoring in
mathematics. The study came about after frustration in the way students perceived
one of Jim’s courses. Being in a doctoral program where students did action research
and wrote an action research dissertation brought this group together. This study
examined Jim’s secondary mathematics methods course, which had a curriculum that
consisted primarily of planning and teaching mathematics lessons. Coupled with the
face-to-face class meetings, each preservice teacher was required to participate in 15
hours of field experience in a secondary mathematics classroom (field experience
consists of observing secondary mathematics teachers in actual classrooms). Jim’s
goal for this project was to examine the impact of using Japanese Lesson Study in
his class to see whether these preservice teachers could learn more by ‘doing’ rather
than observing mathematics teaching. Jim’s goal for doing action research was to
make him a better practitioner-researcher.

Theoretical foundation

This study was based on the Vygotsky Space as the theoretical framework. The
Vygotsky Space has four phases that are cyclical rather than linear; a learner can be
functioning at any given time in any of the quadrants (Gallucci et al. 2010). This
theory represents learning in terms of relationships between collective and individual
actions and between public and private settings. The individual internalizes the
social practice, transforms the practice in their context, and eventually externalizes
(shares) the practice with others (Gallucci et al. 2010).

The iterative stages of the learning process as proposed by Vygotsky and
depicted by Gallucci et al. (2010) include the following:

• Individual appropriation of particular ways of thinking through interaction
with others.

• Individual transformation and ownership of that thinking in the context of
one’s own work.

• Publication of new learning through talk or action.
• Process whereby those public acts become conventionalized in the practice of
that individual and/or in the work of others.

498 J. Mostofo and R. Zambo

Background

Action research is any systematic inquiry by teacher-researchers for educational
reform that gathers information about how well their students learn based on an
innovation (Mills 2007; Somekh and Zeichner 2009). For this study, Jim imple-
mented an action research model and collected qualitative data as the study pro-
gressed. From past experience, Jim realized that his students’ transition from the
college classroom to the public school classroom was not seamless. To help alleviate
this problem, he chose to engage his students – six preservice secondary mathemat-
ics teachers – in Lesson Study as part of their methods course. The primary purpose
of the research was to determine the impact of using Lesson Study with preservice
secondary mathematics teachers as they moved from teaching in a methods class-
room to their field-experience classroom before they entered their student-teaching
experience. The secondary purpose was to improve Jim’s own practice through
innovation and systematic inquiry into it.

One purpose of action research is to better understand and improve one’s
practice (McTaggart 1994; Somekh and Zeichner 2009) and ‘engage in a process of
continuous improvement’ (Patthey and Thomas-Spiegel 2013, 482). As a teacher,
Jim realized that his secondary mathematics class needed to improve for various rea-
sons. First, there was little practice teaching in his class and none out in the field.
He typically had allowed his students (preservice teachers) to plan and teach only
one or two mini-lessons in class for the entire semester, which, on reflection, did not
seem like enough practice to prepare them for student-teaching. Most of the class
was centered on his teaching and modeling pedagogical-content strategies for mathe-
matics instruction. Second, he did not have control over what his preservice teachers
were asked to do in their field-experience (practicum) classrooms. They were
required to observe a secondary mathematics classroom of their choice for a total of
15 hours during the semester. They would choose the school and teacher to observe,
so there was no connection to his methods classroom. The preservice teachers would
typically sit in the back of these secondary mathematics classrooms, observe the tea-
cher and take notes. This did not provide any actual practice for the preservice
teachers in a classroom setting that could serve as a bridge to their student-teaching.

Jim’s goal was to create an innovation that allowed preservice teachers the
opportunity to teach more in the methods classroom before teaching in the field-ex-
perience classroom and to systematically investigate the effect of this. He also
wanted to connect his methods classroom to the field-experience classroom so the
preservice teachers would be able to practice-teach the exact lessons in his class
before teaching them in their field-experience classroom. He used Lesson Study as
the vehicle for this innovation and set up a partnership with a local high school
mathematics department. Overall, he wanted to use action research to become more
‘effective’ and ‘empowered’ as a methods instructor and researcher (Leitch and Day
2000, 183).

In many action research studies, the researcher and the practitioner are not the
same person so their relationship is crucial (Postholm and Skrovset 2013). However,
Jim’s role in this project was significant because he acted both as the practitioner
and as the researcher throughout this action research study (Gay, Mills, and Airasian
2009). Some recent research argues that the role of a practitioner-researcher can
serve many different purposes: individual professional development, school develop-
ment, and knowledge generalized to other contexts (Oolbekkink-Marchand, van der

Educational Action Research 499

Steen, and Nijveldt 2014). For this study, Jim’s purpose was individual professional
development to enact change and understand the effect of this intervention. He
served as the instructor of the secondary mathematics methods class and formed the
collaborative teams used for this study. He also monitored the progress of the
preservice teachers during the collaborative planning and provided feedback on their
lesson plans and mathematics plans (the mathematics plan included example prob-
lems, handouts, and activities that were used).

As the researcher in this action research study, Jim acted as an observer, video-
taping and taking field notes while the preservice teachers were teaching lessons in
the methods classroom. During the debriefing sessions after a preservice teacher’s
lesson, he took on more of a participant role as he facilitated the comments from the
other preservice teachers and gave feedback based on his field notes. He coordinated
the schedule with the field-experience school to schedule the teaching days for each
collaborative team of preservice teachers. Between Lesson Study rounds, Jim taught
pedagogical strategies as well as modeled lessons in the classroom. At the conclu-
sion of the study, he oversaw the implementation of the methods and analyzed the
data from the participants.

Lesson Study

Teaching mathematics in Japan has changed drastically in the past 50 years, while
teaching mathematics in the United States has changed very little over the same time
period (Stigler and Hiebert 1999). Mathematics teachers in Japan focus more on
conceptual understanding of mathematics, whereas the tradition in US mathematics
classrooms is to treat the learning of mathematics as memorization and practice
(Geist 2000; Stigler and Hiebert 1999).

What might account for these differences? Some research indicates that Lesson
Study has resulted in much of the change in Japanese classrooms (Lewis and
Tsuchida 1998; Stigler and Hiebert 1999). Lesson Study is a process to improve stu-
dents’ learning through improved instruction (Fernandez and Yoshida 2004; Lewis
2002; Stigler and Hiebert 1999). It is a teacher-led professional development that
brings teachers and other educators together to study in depth the teaching and
learning of a particular mathematical concept or process (Tolle 2010). The spirit of
Lesson Study involves ‘collaborating with fellow teachers to plan, observe, and
reflect on lessons’ (Takahashi and Yoshida 2004, 439).

Lesson Study was first introduced to American educators by Catherine C. Lewis
and Ineko Tsuchida (1998) in their article ‘A Lesson is like a Swiftly Flowing
River’ and later by James W. Stigler and James Hiebert (1999) in their book The
Teaching Gap. Since that time, Lesson Study has been implemented in schools
across the United States and it is finding its way into preservice teacher education.
There is strong evidence that many aspects of the Lesson Study process can posi-
tively impact preservice teachers. Lesson Study can provide the opportunity to build
professional learning communities, deepen understanding of content and pedagogy,
and develop habits of critical observation, analysis, and feedback (Chassels and
Melville 2009; Chokshi and Fernandez 2004; Groth 2011; Tolle 2010). Allowing
preservice teachers to re-teach lessons after receiving feedback and revising their les-
son plans to incorporate the feedback has been shown to improve the quality of their
lessons (Chassels and Melville 2009; Ganesh and Matteson 2010). Preservice teach-
ers appreciated the insights that their peers provided while participating in Lesson

500 J. Mostofo and R. Zambo

Study (Chassels and Melville 2009). Observing lessons from their classmates
enhanced preservice teachers’ skill in critiquing lessons as well as differentiating
between effective and ineffective teaching strategies (Chassels and Melville 2009).

Lesson Study assists teachers in learning that their lessons can and will improve
from observation and feedback. This realization allows them to accept and learn
from the constructive criticism that Lesson Study can provide (Sims and Walsh
2008). The impact of Lesson Study in preservice methods classes was found to
positively impact the delivery of lessons in field-experience teaching (Chassels and
Melville 2009; Ganesh and Matteson 2010) by serving as a bridge between the
methods classroom and field experience (Carrier 2011).

However, implementing Lesson Study with preservice teachers can be problem-
atic due to coordination with the field-experience school and teachers. For example,
having students design lessons that can be implemented into the sequence of instruc-
tion in the field-experience classroom requires close cooperation with the mentor
teachers and the coordination of schedules between the college classroom and the
field-experience classroom. Additionally, mentor teachers need to understand the
Lesson Study process to support the preservice teachers, otherwise adaptations to
the process could occur (Carrier 2011; Chassels and Melville 2009; McMahon and
Hines 2008).

Lesson Study debriefing

Preservice teachers often have difficulty engaging in reflective thinking, and there is
a lack of structured opportunities to develop these skills in typical teacher preparation
classes (Goodell 2006); however, Lesson Study can provide opportunity for rich
discussion on teaching strategies that is focused on student learning (Carrier 2011;
Chassels and Melville 2009; Ganesh and Matteson 2010; Sims and Walsh 2008).
Lesson Study allows for individual teachers and their preservice colleagues to reflect
in the context of the classroom on post-lesson discussions that connect thinking and
action (Leitch and Day 2000; Schon 1983), which are at the heart of the Lesson
Study process (Chokshi and Fernandez 2004; Cohan and Honigsfeld 2006; Groth
2011; Tolle 2010). The Lesson Study process dictates that the teacher who taught the
lesson speaks first during the debriefing session, discussing what they think worked
and what did not work in the lesson followed by comments, suggestions, or questions
by the other participants (Groth 2011; Stigler and Hiebert 1999; Tolle 2010).
Research has shown that preservice teachers readily accepted suggestions from their
peers and instructor, which in turn improved the depth of their future lessons
(Fernandez 2005; Ganesh and Matteson 2010). However, there is some evidence that
the lack of knowledge and experience of many participants in a collaborative Lesson
Study group can severely limit the richness of conversations (Tan 2014).

Lesson Study for teacher efficacy

Evidence shows a strong link between Lesson Study (as professional development)
and self-efficacy, which could be attributed to increased pedagogical content knowl-
edge derived from the collaborative planning portion of the Lesson Study process
(Sibbald 2009). Through sharing ideas and resources, and gaining an understanding
of different teaching techniques during the Lesson Study process, preservice teachers
improved their efficacy (Sibbald 2009). Professional development has the potential

Educational Action Research 501

to impact teacher efficacy; as teachers gain experience and learn more about their
teaching practices and how to implement them, they improve their personal compe-
tence in their domain (Zambo and Zambo 2008; Hill and Ball 2004). Research sug-
gests that collaboration and support have been linked to higher efficacy for teachers,
especially for novice teachers (Chester and Beaudin 1996; Rosenholtz 1989;
Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk-Hoy 2007). Preservice teachers’ efficacy has been
shown to increase from observing specific teaching strategies being modeled, as well
as from participating in self-reflection about their teaching (Henson 2001; Johnson
2010; Schunk and Zimmerman 1997).

Methodology

Setting

Jim’s course consisted of three 65-minute classes per week for 16 weeks. This meth-
ods course is the only mathematics methods course required in the secondary educa-
tion program at his university. Coupled with the face-to-face class meetings, each
preservice teacher was required by the university to participate in 15 hours of field
experience in a secondary mathematics classroom. As part of this study, each preser-
vice teacher agreed to work with a designated teacher in a field-experience partner
school and to teach two lessons in the assigned field-placement classroom. Jim briefed
the field-experience teacher on the Lesson Study process prior to the innovation.

Participants

There were eight preservice teachers in Jim’s secondary mathematics methods class;
six of them chose to participate in this study. The two preservice teachers who did
not participate still taught in the methods classroom, but went to their own practi-
cum classrooms and observed without practice teaching like the preservice teachers
who chose to be in the study. These six preservice teachers were directly involved
on a daily basis with Lesson Study by collaboratively planning their lessons, indi-
vidually teaching lessons in both the methods and the field-experience classrooms,
and participating in the weekly reflections, surveys, and interviews.

Data sources

There were two sources of qualitative data that were collected: weekly reflections
written by the participants (a total of 47 double-spaced typed pages), and semi-struc-
tured post interviews of the participants (a total of 30 double-spaced typed pages).
The purpose of the weekly reflections was to elicit responses from the participants
about the Lesson Study process and how the innovation was progressing for them.
Some examples of prompts Jim used for the weekly reflections were as follows:
How are you feeling about teaching in your field-experience classroom? What are
the three most important ideas you have learned from this class so far? Are you
developing more confidence in your ability to meet expectations in a real classroom
as a future teacher? Why or why not? How did you feel about finally teaching in
front of real students in your field experience? The post interview was used to
summarize the participants’ thoughts on the entire Lesson Study process. Some
examples of post interview questions were: What were the main benefits of the

502 J. Mostofo and R. Zambo

Lesson Study process for you? Did Lesson Study impact your instructional ability
(mathematical teaching)? Did Lesson Study impact your mathematics teaching
efficacy?

Lesson Study process

Jim introduced the preservice teachers to the Lesson Study process during the first
week of class. The innovation was set up into two phases. The first phase focused
on planning algebra lessons and practice-teaching them in Jim’s methods classroom
before teaching in the field-experience classroom. Twice during this phase of
instruction, the preservice teachers, working in two groups of three, collaboratively
planned an algebra lesson that consisted of a written lesson plan and a mathematics
plan including all of the necessary example problems, handouts, and activities. They
emailed these lessons to Jim for feedback prior to the first teaching opportunity. The
revised lessons were then taught in class by one member of each team. The debrief-
ing session following each teaching episode started with a self-reflection by the
preservice teacher who actually taught the lesson, followed by a class discussion
about the lesson that included comments, suggestions, and questions. Jim guided
this discussion and gave additional feedback following the debriefing session. The
lessons were revised again by the preservice teachers after the debriefing session
and re-taught in the following class period by another team member. After the sec-
ond teaching episode and debriefing, the lessons were revised for the final time and
turned in to Jim for a grade. The process for the second lesson plan mirrored that of
the first. After each Lesson Study cycle, Jim taught relevant course material based
on his lesson observations and typical course content. Jim also modeled mathematics
lessons that were followed by debriefing sessions.

The second phase of Lesson Study directly prepared the preservice teachers for
teaching in the field placement classroom by targeting lessons on topics that were
assigned by the field-experience teacher in advance of the scheduled teaching epi-
sodes. Each Lesson Study team collaboratively planned their lesson and received
Jim’s feedback before teaching it in the methods classroom. The lessons were then
taught, revised, and re-taught before teaching them in the field-experience
classroom. These lessons were taught and revised three times before being taught in
the field-experience classroom (each preservice teacher had the opportunity to teach
the lesson in the methods class and get feedback to prepare to teach it in the field-
experience classroom).

Each Lesson Study team had an assigned day to teach in the field-experience
classroom. The preservice teachers each taught at least one class period while their
teammates observed and video-recorded the lesson. The video recordings of the les-
son were shown in Jim’s methods classroom the following week and the class par-
ticipated in a debriefing session for each preservice teacher. Afterwards, the entire
process as described above was used in preparing and teaching a second lesson for
the field-placement classroom. Figure 1 outlines the Phase One and Phase Two
model used for this study.

Analysis

Jim analyzed each of the two data-sets separately. Data analysis began with open
coding and then collapsing codes into categories based on similar dimensions

Educational Action Research 503

(Corbin and Strauss 2008). Saturation of the data came after multiple attempts of
defining and redefining the categories. Eventually themes were created. Another
researcher analyzed the raw data and independently created themes as a cross-check
of Jim’s analysis. Considering the results of the cross-check, Jim finalized the
themes for both sets of qualitative data. The themes, theme-related components, and
assertions presented in each analysis were organized into tables.

Phase One (2 Rounds) Phase Two (2 Rounds)

Collaboratively Plan

Instructor Revisions

Teach (1st Team Member)

Debriefing Session

Revise Collaboratively

Re-Teach (2nd Team Member)

Debriefing Session

Final Revisions Turned In

*Class instruction and modeled lessons by
instructor between rounds

Collaboratively Plan

Instructor Revisions

Teach (1st Team Member)

Debriefing Session

Revise Collaboratively

Re-Teach (2nd Team Member)

Debriefing Session

Revise Collaboratively

Re-Teach (3rd Team Member)

Debriefing Session

Revise Collaboratively

Field -Experience Teaching

Debriefing Session (Video-Recordings)

*Class instruction and modeled lessons by
instructor between rounds..

Figure 1. Lesson Study innovation model.

504 J. Mostofo and R. Zambo

Results from the preservice teacher weekly reflections

The three overall themes that surfaced in the weekly reflections as well as the speci-
fic components which supported the themes and the assertions that were developed
from these thematic components are summarized in Table 1.

The first assertion that emerged from the weekly reflections was that the preser-
vice teachers gained confidence from multiple teaching opportunities. In Week 3 a
preservice teacher noted: ‘Well, I have to say that I was very nervous teaching for
the first time in front of my peers. But, after realizing we all had wobbly knees
about it, I guess it wasn’t really that bad’ (Bonnie, weekly reflection, 16 September
2012). In the same week, a preservice teacher mentioned the fear of the upcoming
field-experience teaching: ‘I’m nervous about the differences in a real high school
classroom’ (Haley, weekly reflection, 15 September 2012). In Week 4 a preservice
teacher discussing their confidence stated: ‘I would say my confidence is in a good
spot right now. I don’t feel overly confident, but I’m not in a situation where I’m
rethinking my career if that makes sense’ (Robert, weekly reflection, 25 September
2012). In Week 5, before teaching the first field-experience lesson, a student wrote:

To be completely honest, I am really nervous about teaching in the practicum class-
room. I have never taught a lesson in an actual high school classroom before, so it
should be interesting. I feel more comfortable with the practice that I’ve gotten in class.
(Haley, weekly reflection, 29 September 2012)

However, after the first field experience I noticed a shift in the confidence of the pre-
service teachers based on their weekly reflections. After the first field-experience
teaching, one preservice teacher pointed out:

The teaching experience was by far the most beneficial thing I have done so far. Even
though we teach lessons in our own classroom each week, being in an actual high
school classroom with real students had a much different feel. (Bonnie, weekly
reflection, 12 October 2012)

Table 1. Reflection themes.

Theme Theme-related components Assertions

Building
confidence

Confidence was gradually
building from rounds of practice
teaching.

Preservice teachers gained confidence
from multiple teaching opportunities.

Confidence improved from
teaching in the field-experience
classroom.

Collaborative
planning

Collaborative planning was
difficult for some teams initially.

Collaborative planning was a major
benefit to the lesson quality despite
some issues working together initially.The Lesson Study teams

eventually thrived from the
collaborative planning.

Observation
of
instruction

Observing themselves on video
helped them to reflect on their
own teaching.

Observing their own and others teaching
mathematics improved their reflective
practices, instructional ability, and
confidence.Observing the instructor model-

teach lessons helped them to gain
more ideas.
Observing their peers teach
allowed them to see other ways
to teach.

Educational Action Research 505

By Week 8, one preservice teacher made the following statement: ‘I am much
more confident in my own abilities, which makes it much easier to focus on the stu-
dents and their learning rather than worrying about messing up my teaching’ (Haley,
weekly reflection, 20 October 2012). By Week 12, after the final field-experience
teaching, one preservice teacher wrote: ‘After stressing out for a week about the
teaching, I felt it went really well. The nervousness went away almost immediately
this time, so I guess that means my confidence is getting better’ (Bonnie, weekly
reflection, 16 November 2012). Another preservice teacher stated the same week: ‘I
felt more comfortable with my ability to teach the students, and to hold their atten-
tion. I also felt much better about this lesson from a confidence standpoint’ (Robert,
weekly reflection, 16 November 2012). Finally, one preservice teacher summed up
the final reflection by stating: ‘I would say that I definitely felt a lot more confident
and teacher-like instead of college student-like’ (Jennifer, weekly reflection, 21
November 2012).

The second assertion that resulted from the weekly reflections was that collab-
orative planning was a major benefit to the lesson quality despite some issues
working together initially. For example, in Week 2 of the innovation one preser-
vice teacher said: ‘This week has been very trying for me. I feel as though we
didn’t have enough time to collaborate on our lesson plans. Also, I found myself
not feeling comfortable in expressing my opinion to my group’ (Jennifer, weekly
reflection, 21 November 2012). However, by Week 4 that same preservice teacher
stated:

The group planning is going better. Having more time in class to …
1

6

Action Research Study Report

Insert Your Name Here
School of Public Service and Education, Capella University
EDD8040: Research Design for Practitioners
Insert the Instructor’s Name Here
Insert the Due Date Here (Month, Day, Year)

Introduction

1. Mostofo and Zambo (2015) chose Vygotsky Space as the theoretical framework. Additionally, later in the article, the authors asserted that,” Jim’s goal was to create an innovation that allowed preservice teachers the opportunity to teach more in the methods classroom before teaching in the field-experience classroom and to systematically investigate the effect of this” (p. 499). Based on the chosen theoretical framework, reflect on the degree to which you think this framework was appropriate for and aligned to the intended purpose of this action research project?

2. Mostofo and Zambo (2015) collaborated with a variety of colleagues to develop this action research intervention. In light of this process, reflect on what potential roles stakeholder collaboration might have on the conceptualization and development of your AIP?

Methodology

3. What are your reflections on collecting and analyzing qualitative data to demonstrate the impact of a potential AIP?
 
Results

4. Was the data analysis sufficient to verify the impact of the intervention?

Discussion/Conclusion

5. Based on the recommendations for further research, describe how an applied research project could be developed to address the issue being described. What intervention might be implemented for online instructors?

References

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