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UNM San Juan Center Practitioner Research Proposals

Section E: Scope of Project

Practitioner research is known by many names: action research, teacher-as-scholar, practical inquiry, classroom inquiry, or practice-centered inquiry. Succinctly, the best way to describe this type of research is the storytelling school of research wherein teachers are recognized as experts in their own classrooms. They are participant observers in the field of their own classrooms.


Practitioner research is a very personalized form of inquiry learning whereby teachers are reflective about their teaching, asking students to become co-researchers in systematically focusing on a question that leads to changing and improving the learning and teaching environment for both teacher and student in a classroom setting. Practitioners talk with other teachers about their practice, their questions, their trials and tribulations in ongoing conversations and support each other. Practitioner research is intended for professional development and learning assessment purposes with the ultimate outcome to improve one's teaching practice.


All graduate students in the UNM-San Juan Center elementary and secondary education masters' program cohort are educators teaching in a classroom. Their practitioner research proposal and research project are part of their graduate course requirements necessary for completion of the graduate program. As the capstone of their graduate program, a practitioner research proposal in LLSS 501 Research Seminar (see APPENDIX A) and implementation of the research project in CMTE 590 Seminar (see APPENDIX B) are required. During this semester, practitioners will be conducting research within their classrooms and writing their final research papers.



Section F: Research Methods and Procedures

In Fall 2008, students work on the submission of their research proposals, outlining their purpose and rationale; design for collection and analysis; and ensuring ethics and accountability. (see APPENDIX A). In Spring 2009 teacher practitioners will implement their research projects (see APPENDIX B) within their respective classrooms.


Teacher practitioners receive support and guidance with their research question, proposal writing and research implementation during the Fall and Spring semesters from their writing group cohort members, faculty instructors, practitioner research consultants, and school colleagues.


During the course of implementing the practitioner research, the following data collecting instruments may include: student, parent and staff surveys; parent and student questionnaires; student and parent interviews; anecdotal notes; practitioner reflection journals; student learning journals; audio taping; videotaping; photographs; student work samples; and criterion-referenced and standardized testing. Data collection and analysis procedures match the nature of the research question and emergent design methodology will be used in identifying and coding themes and patterns as they are uncovered during the course of the research project. Emergent design also recognizes the dynamism of the research process and the necessity to alter plans along the way as a natural byproduct of the research enterprise. Emergent design is more compatible to teaching pedagogy for teachers continually adjust and revise based on student feedback and outcomes.








UNM San Juan Center Practitioner Research Proposals


Section G: Risks and Benefits

All research proposals and products pose no risks or less than minimal risks at best. Since practitioner research is part of the ongoing classroom instruction, there will be no interruption of ongoing curricular goals. A copy of the final research project will be available for parents and the school community to view at the completion of the project in mid-May. Teacher practitioners may also share their final research with school colleagues and may submit research for educational publication or presentations. Students will be considered research collaborators alongside their teachers in the practitioner research process and product. The results of the practitioner research will benefit both students and teacher in their respective learning situations. Final research will be presented to students, parents and teachers in the school community as well as to the UNM San Juan Center academic community.


Section H: Informed Consent

Information collected in the study is for the purpose of a practitioner research paper to be submitted to the College of Education Teacher Education Department at the University of New Mexico. Only students whose parents sign consent forms will be included in the final research paper.


Participation in the research project is voluntary and the protection of privacy will be respected. Parents and children may choose to withdraw at any time without penalty and may also choose not to answer any questions, surveys, questionnaires and still remain part of the research. Any information obtained in connection with this practitioner research will remain confidential and stored in a secure location accessible only to the teacher practitioner and will be disclosed only with parental permission or as required by law. Student names will NOT be used in the final research paper only with parental consent. Children participating in the study will not receive any method of payment for their participation in the research. Each practitioner researcher will have consent forms informing parents and children of the research project. (see APPENDIX C)








APPENDIX A LLSS 501 Syllabus

APPENDIX B CMTE 590 Syllabus

APPENDIX C (list of names, project titles, Assent and Consent Forms)













Extended University

San Juan Center

4601 College Boulevard

Farmington, NM 87402



8 December 2008


Dear IRB Director William Gannon:

On behalf of our Elementary Education master program graduate students, I am submitting, as principal investigator, an IRB application for approval to the UNM IRB under EXPEDITED STATUS for their practitioner research. The practitioner research is a class research project in fulfillment of the graduate capstone course requirements in LLSS 501 and CIMTE 590. Attached please find our Human Subjects Module Completion Certificates for principal investigator and six practitioner researchers


We appreciate your review of our research intentions. If you have any questions or concerns about our submission, please feel free to contact me.





Frances Vitali, Ph.D.


Cc: Trini Rivera, IRB Specialist & Alice Parrish, Review Analyst:

William L. Gannon, Ph.D.
IRB Director


Office Address:
MSC 05 3180
1717 Roma, Second Floor
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-001

Alice Parrish
Review Analyst
Research Compliance Services

Trini H. Baca Rivera
IRB Specialist
Research Compliance Services



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