The Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal is pleased to announce a request for proposals for the Action Research Team Approach to Professional Development for the 2014-2015 academic year.
We invite your application for participation and recommend that you carefully review the following guidelines, since the scope of the program and the requirements have changed. Please Note: Due to current funding constraints, fewer grants will be awarded than have been in the past.
The 2014-2015 Action Research Project will involve teams of up to 5 educators from up to 3 member schools in a year-long intensive action research professional development experience using data-driven research to study a topic that has the potential to impact student achievement and the quality of teaching practice. Team members can be from different or same grade levels or departments in a school. The major criteria in forming a team should be a willingness and capacity to work together to investigate and improve teaching and learning.
Each team will decide on the focus of its inquiry, which should revolve around an authentic issue that engages the team members. The investigation should result in a long-term change or transformation of practice. Some possible topics include: Integrating the Common Core Standards, using technology to enhance instruction, co-teaching for inclusion, or any of a myriad of possibilities that relate to the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. The four dimensions of the Agenda are:
1. STEWARDSHIP OF BEST PRACTICE:
It is the responsibility of teachers to become models of best practice in their schools and professional communities. This means understanding the nature of school change, exercising leadership among peers and colleagues, and modeling best practices for teaching and learning.
2. ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE FOR ALL STUDENTS:
Teachers and school communities must find the means for all students to "join the human conversation," by providing all students with the opportunity to reach their highest potential. This has implications for curriculum, teaching and assessment strategies, classroom organization, scheduling, etc.
3. NURTURING PEDAGOGY AND PRACTICE:
Educators must possess a broad repertoire of pedagogical skills and knowledge, know their students as individuals with varied learning needs, and exhibit caring and respect for all learners.
4. DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE:
Schools are the primary institutions in our society charged with preparing students for participation in our political and social democracy. This includes teaching students how to use critical thinking to make good judgments, to respect the rights of others, to tolerate differences, and how to engage in civil discourse. It also means finding ways to promote democratic practice in schools.
All applications will be evaluated using the criteria listed on the rubric
(See link below):
COMPLETED APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE ALL FIVE ITEMS BELOW:
1. EACH TEAM must complete and submit ONE Action Research Team On-line Application:
2. EACH TEAM must complete and submit ONE Signature Page:
3. EACH TEAM MEMBER must complete and submit the following required forms by fax, scan, email or mail:
1) W-9 form
3) On-line Clinical Faculty Application (If not yet Clinical Faculty)
4. Please fax, scan, email, or mail ONE letter of support (see information above) from the Building Principal supporting the Action Research Team application, including:
- Willingness to provide release time
- Substitute coverage for the 3 on-campus meeting dates (TBD)
- Brief summary of how this project will support overall school renewal
5. Please fax, scan, email, or mail ONE letter of support (see information above) from the Superintendent supporting the Action Research Team application.
FAX, SCAN, EMAIL, OR MAIL TO:
Dr. Connie Donvito, MSUNER
Montclair State University
University Hall, Suite 1180
Montclair, NJ 07043
Completed Applications Must Be Received by June 15, 2014
ACTION RESEARCH GUIDELINES/REQUIREMENTS
1. Each team must include a minimum of four people, including one administrator, with a maximum of five people per team. At least one of the members must be a Clinical Faculty member at the time the application is submitted. All other team members should submit their Clinical Faculty applications by September 2014, if they are not clinical faculty. The team should designate one teacher as the coordinator who will be the team contact person. Administrators and supervisors are expected to contribute to the work of the teams, but may not serve as team coordinator.
2. During the course of the 2014-2015 school year, team members will participate in 3 all-day retreats for professional development with the other Action Research Teams. Retreats will be jointly planned by team members and MSU faculty.
3. The team members commit to the goal of the Action Research Project, which will be to study, better understand, and transform teaching and learning in the classroom, based on the topic of importance to the team members. Team members may conduct joint or collaborative action research projects. Ultimately, these projects should have a long-term impact on teaching practice.
4. Teams will be required to disseminate their findings in a formal presentation, including visuals, at the MSUNER 2015 Summer Conference, to be held on June 26, 2015. Team members will be encouraged to share their work through local or regional presentations, district professional development workshops, as well as professional publications. It is assumed that all team members will share their learning, new expertise and insights with their other school colleagues.
5. Each team will be required to submit a final report which will be reviewed for approval by the facilitator(s) of the Action Research Teams. After the final report is accepted and the presentation is completed, each team member will receive a $500 stipend (This is usually awarded in the summer after all paperwork has been completed.) Team members must complete and submit a W-9 form upon initial approval of the award.
6. Each team will have a budget of $1,500 to buy books, materials, videos or other resources to aid in their work. This will be administered through the school district.
7. Each school district must agree to cover the cost of substitutes for the 3 all-day joint retreats.
8. PLEASE NOTE: Grant recipient teams will be required to attend an initial meeting at the 2014 MSUNER Summer Conference to be held on June 27, 2014 and an after school meeting from 3:45-5:45 pm to be held in late September or early October 2014, the location to be determined. At that time, they will receive all books and materials and an overview of their work for the academic year.
9. COMPLETED APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY JUNE 15, 2014.
Applications will not be accepted after this due date. Early applications are encouraged.