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Action Research



Action Research is a course that will be taken by all high school students this year. It is a one unit course that meets once per cycle (every 6 days). This course is designed to develop the interdisciplinary skills needed by students to complete a senior project and ultimately for college success. A recent article in Educational Leadership best states the goal of this class:
    • What if engagement were truly at the center of learning, if teachers and students could work together as teams discovering, reflecting, and processing new knowledge? What if instead of following steps in a program that promises to teach critical thinking, students were actively engaged in critical thinking, participating in rich discussions to expand their knowledge? (Lent, 2006)

For the first semester, these action research study groups will be focusing on the topic of “Society and Health Care”. Students will design and implement projects related to this topic over the course of the first semester. These projects will be presented during an Academic Symposium at Village scheduled in February. Parents, faculty, and community members will all be invited to attend.

Topics covered/Skills to be developed
  • Collaboration
  • Academic integrity
  • Rhetoric
  • Research methods/problem-solving
  • Presentation
  • Analysis/synthesis
  • Time management
  • Evaluation/reflection

Contents

News
The Question
Subtopics and Group Assignments
Water Bottles
Files for students
Grading

News


12/11: I uploaded the 2007 Burbank Water Quality Report.

12/05: A list of empty bottles that we have will soon be available on the Cost Group's page. Timothy found the masses of many of them.

10/31: If you need help editing a page or posting a link, post a discussion question on this page using the discussion link at the top. Anyone can answer.

10/29: To join Wikispaces and edit your own group's page, see the instructions on my home page.

10/22: The votes are in: bottled water, 16; organic food, 2. We are going to research bottled water. I think this is the last topic change. We have a topic you find interesting, and our research might lead to some exciting and surprising results!

The Question


"What kind of water is best to drink?"

While me might rephrase this question, I think that it represents the main problem we are trying to solve.
- Tyler_Swavely Tyler_Swavely Nov 14, 2008 "...and why?"

Subtopics and Group Assignments


To answer the question above, we will have to break it into parts. Groups of 3-4 students will be assigned to each part to become "experts" in that particular area. When all groups have gathered information on their part, we will synthesize ("put together") the information in such a way as to draw conclusions and make recommendations. I recommend splitting the topic into the following parts (each with associated questions):

Water Bottles

The following table lists our collection of empty water bottles. (Timothy, can you post some of your masses here?)

Brand

Origin

Source

Vol. (mL)

Mass (g) w/ cap

Mass (g) w/o cap

Lists minerals present?

Arrowhead

CA

spring

500

14.5

13.08

no

Crystal Geyser

CA

spring

500

14.75

13.49

no

Niagara
CA
purified tap
500
14.93
13.66
n
Kirkland*

CA

purified tap

500

14.78

13.48

yes

Alka pi

CA(?)

purified mineral

500

23.66

21.86

some

smartwater

NY(?)

purified tap(?)

1000

42.73

40.68

yes

Ralphs

U.S.

purified tap

500

14.9

13.65

no

Nestle

CA

purified well

500

15.31

14.03

yes

Aquafina

CA

purified tap

591

27.24

24.64

no

Metromint

CA

"purified water"

500

32.38

30.30

no

Voss

Norway

artesian

330

48.01

35.44

yes

Fiji

Fiji

artesian

500

29.56

27.25

yes

Icelandic Glacial

Iceland

spring

500

31.32

29.05

yes

Aquafina

CA

purified tap

500

24.76

23.31

no

Sparkletts

?

purified tap

500

14.63

13.33

some











































*Kirkland is bottled by Niagara Bottling, LLC

Files for students


File Not Found
File Not Found



Grading


The class as a whole is graded pass/fail. To help determine whether a student passes or fails, the following general, 5 point scale is applied to class activities:
  • Score 4.0 – Exceeds expectations and goes beyond what was explicitly taught
  • Score 3.0 – Demonstrates understanding of the concepts that were taught
  • Score 2.0 – Demonstrates understanding of the concepts that were taught, but contains some errors and/or omissions
  • Score 1.0 – Demonstrates partial understanding of the simpler ideas and concepts
  • Score 0.0 – No understanding or skill demonstrated
See the grading rubric that is available for download for details on journal grading.


Lent, ReLeah. “In the Company of Critical Thinkers.” Educational Leadership October 2006: 68-72.