Examining the Work: Goals
The setting of my action research project will be Sharyland High School. We have about three thousand students on our campus and about sixty percent are involved in some sort of extra-curricular activity. I will study a small fraction of extra-curricular activities by looking at our current football players against the rest of the students who don’t participate in extra-curricular activities. The reason for choosing this action research project is to look at student improvement and its correlation to extra-curricular activities. As a coach I am concerned that extra-curricular activities will be taken out of the general curriculum of schools. Budget expenses for sports and athletic periods are things being targeted by administrators to cut because they don’t see the value of sports when it comes to the new requirements for testing and graduation requirements. My goal is to show factual data to administrators that will provide evidence that justifies the importance of extra-curricular activities in our school. It will also show that budgets don’t need to be cut and athletic periods help students learn things that they can use in the classroom. Extra-Curricular activities teach our students teamwork, organization, time management, fairness, sportsmanship, and many other characteristics that are important on the field and in the classroom. The final result of this study will show administrators that we need to keep extra-curricular activities, remain consistent on budgets for these activities, and to keep athletic periods in the school for the overall improvement in our students.
1. I will identify all football athletes in athletic period grades 9-11 (class rosters).
2. We will look at their STAR Test results in Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and History to compare with students who are involved in extra-curricular activities and those who are not involved.
3. Compare the graduation rates of students in extra-curricular activities who will be moving on to the next grade versus those who are not involved.
4. Look at overall grades at the end of the semester and compare those grades with students involved and not involved.
5. Conduct a survey for administrators/teachers on survey monkey on “How they feel about extra-curricular activities and their role in student performance”.
6. Conduct a survey for extra-curricular students on survey monkey on “How they feel extra-curricular activities benefit students and their performance in school”.
7. Conduct a survey for non-extra-curricular students on “How they feel about extra-curricular activities in the school and do they help in overall student performance.
8. Conduct a survey for all parents and determine what they think about extra-curricular activities in the school setting.
Developing a Deeper Understanding:
Looking at the data may lead to other questions and interpretations of the data. Involvement in extra-curricular activities may also lead to less absence’s, less tardies, improved student behavior, decreased suspensions, more involvement in other activities, and many other things in the school that will lead to overall student improvement.
Engaging in Self Reflection:
I want to be able to show the administration that extra-curricular activities are an important part of every student’s time when they are in school. Cutting budgets and getting rid of athletic periods is not going to increase student performance in the classroom. As a former coach and top ten student, I look back and can recall every coach that has influenced my life and molded me into the teacher/coach I am today. Kids need an outlet during a tough day of taking core classes and extra-curricular activities provide some relief for our students. As stated before sixty percent of our kids at our school are involved in some sort of extra-curricular activity. It can be in sports, band, drama, UIL, cheerleading and many other activities that make our students well balanced.
Exploring Programmatic Patterns:
The first step is to target which groups we will be comparing in the study. The first group is the students that are involved in extra-curricular activities particularly football players. The second group will be the students that are not involved in extra-curricular activities in our school. The next step would be to get with the counselors and PEIMS clerk to get all the information on grades, testing, and attendance for the students we will be studying. The final step would be to look at the data and decide how we interpret the data as we compare the two groups in our study. I would also like to develop a survey for the football players and ask them questions about how they feel extra-curricular activities have helped them not only on the field, but in the classroom. As a coach I’m concerned that athletic periods will be cut, budgets reduced, and extra-curricular activities phased out in our schools. With the data studied above I hope to show our administration that extra-curricular activities only increase performance in our schools. I will also look at the surveys completed by the athletes and put together a chart of how the kids feel about extra-curricular activities.
I would like to study the data for about one year to compare the students and their progress on grades and testing. We will look at the data from the above groups and determine whether student performance increases with the involvement of extra-curricular activities. I will be conducting the action research plan with the help of my site supervisor, counselors, athletic director, athletic coordinator, PEIMS clerk, and Testing Coordinator throughout my study. These people will be vital in developing my action research plan and helping study and analyze the data to provide for administration when determining the importance of extra-curricular activities. The process for monitoring the goals and objectives of my research project will come from the PEIMS data, AYP data, and data from the testing coordinator for the STAR test. The results from this data will help me understand the correlation between testing scores and grades between extra-curricular students and non-extra-curricular students in our school. The data obtained and analyzed will provide information for administration that shows the value of extra-curricular activities on our campus and the role it plays in motivating our students to perform better in the classroom. The survey that we put on survey monkey will also help us with data to show the importance of extra-curricular activities.
The assessment instrument for evaluation of my action research project will be the comparison between extra-curricular kids and non-extra-curricular students on overall performance in the classroom. The final study will be using overall grades and STAR testing results to see if the outcomes are validated for increased student improvement in extra-curricular activities in our school.
Taking Action for Improvement:
The whole idea of creating an action research plan is look for better ways to study and analyze data for increased student improvement. In our readings we have talked about how we need to move away from traditional teachings for research and move towards a more active approach to solving the issues that affect our students and curtail learning. My action research project will show the value of having extra-curricular activities in our school. Developing an organized plan to inform staff, students, and parents of the goals/objectives of the action research is crucial in keeping these activities in our schools. Explaining the importance and value of having extra-curricular activities and presenting factual data that states how we monitor and assess the value only shows the importance it has on school improvement. What is taught in extra-curricular activities far outweighs a monetary value.
After all research has been monitored, assessed, and evaluated, a finalized report will be shared with the administration, faculty, parents, and students addressing the issue of keeping extra-curricular activities in our school. Administration can use the research to show other districts that extra-curricular activities are an important part in student success and improvement. What they learn during these activities only enhances what they learn in school and is crucial for the total development of a well-rounded student at Sharyland High School.