Senior teaching interns in the Baylor School of Education (SOE) are learning to improve their teaching practice through research in the classrooms where they are student teaching. Called “Action Research,” the projects completed by the seniors will be showcased at the Action Research Symposium this week.
The symposium will be Thursday, April 12, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 West Waco Drive. Baylor faculty members, plus teachers and administrators from Baylor’s partner schools, will get to see the project results and discuss them with students.
While working in classrooms this year, Baylor seniors have conducted studies ranging from comparing teaching practices between several whole classroom settings to studies of effective interventions with just one struggling or disruptive student.
Project topics this year include:
- The efficacy of online math, spelling and literacy programs
- The value of one-on-one tutoring to improve writing scores
- Helping test anxiety with deep breathing and other relaxation techniques
- The benefits or distractions of flexible seating arrangements
- Improving exam performance with aromatherapy
- The efficacy of formal grading versus qualitative feedback to increase motivation
- Motivational techniques to combat senioritis in 12th graders
- Implementation of a writing checklist to help second graders with grammar
- Effects of implementing a “Kindness Circle” in first grade
- How American Sign Language usage can help a student with autism and a speech impediment
- Incorporating movement into elementary-level math lessons
Students’ qualitative and quantitative findings answer “the wondering” they experience while working in pre-K through 12 classrooms. The research is known as “Action Research” because it takes place in an actual pre-K-12 classroom by a practicing teacher. This form of research answers questions about specific classroom practices or sets of students Baylor seniors encounter during their internships. Teacher candidates pursuing all levels of certification conduct research and are supported in the data-collection process by onsite mentor teachers.
“The thought of conducting research can elicit a feeling of anxiety for students,” said Dr. Krystal Goree, SOE faculty member and Director of the Office of Professional Practice. “But action research does not have to be complicated or extensive. It can help teachers assess classroom practices and improve learning experiences for their students. It can be very rewarding, and the process is something that teachers can repeat throughout their careers to enhance their teaching practice and better serve their students.”
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ABOUT BAYLOR SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.