An action research study of program implementation in a rural reservation school district
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This participant action research study was conducted to understand the implementation of digitized curriculum within the Red Lake School District. The research was conducted to understand the implementation process through the collective social construct of the teachers and administrators that participated in the digitized curriculum initiative. The school district under study has been categorized as one of the lowest 5% in student achievement throughout the state of Minnesota. It further has a history in which an abundance of resources, including School Improvement Grant (SIG) monies, has been allocated towards many initiatives, including digitized curriculum, that have failed to provide a turnaround in student achievement. Within the study, the data shows how the digitized curriculum initiative is not an exception to that history, but rather provides an opportunity to improve practice. The participant action researcher (PAR), Jason W. Stanoch, partnered with an outside researcher, Dr. Ian Mette, to conduct interviews and focus groups in an initial assessment to post-assessment data collection design. From the data analysis, the following recommendations were made: 1) Leadership within the Red Lake School District must acknowledge that the digitized curriculum initiative has failed to be implemented on a systemic level. However, with that acknowledgment comes the responsibility to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the feasibility of continued implementation of digitized curriculum. 2) The data gleaned from the comprehensive needs assessment should be in the decision making process as to whether or not implementation will be continued. 3) Regardless of the outcome decided upon, a vision for moving into the future with or without technology must be created. The vision must be inclusive of all stakeholders, culturally relevant, and provide the ability for the Native American students within the school district to navigate both life on and off of the Red Lake Indian Reservation. 4) An official model for implementation must be chosen to provide structure and guidance for change. 5) The official model for implementation is to then be utilized to guide the creation of an articulated strategic action plan. This action plan must include documentation for reflective practice, goal/objective setting, tools for the planning of future steps based upon established goals/objectives, and a system of assessing efficacy in implementation.
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