I watched 3 video interviews as part of my week 2 assignment for EDLD 5301 Research. The first interview was with Principal Johnny Briseno of Rancho Isabella Elementary, Angleton ISD. The area of action research he discussed was making data-based decisions. He stated that when you are presented with a problem you have to look at the facts first by asking questions intended to identify the problem and then determining the source of the problem. He stated that numbers do not always tell the whole story but you have to also discuss the qualitative data by asking the “why” and “what” questions such as “why are students not being successful?” and “what can we do to intervene on student’s behalf?”. Principal Briseno recommends that future leaders read articles in order to solve problems or pull up Google and see what other campuses or districts are doing to deal with their problems. Something that I learned from Principal Briseno is that it is best for teachers to share their best practices with their peers rather than the information coming from the leadership because it is more likely to be accepted and received.
The last interview was with Dr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent of Pasadena ISD. Dr. Lewis stated that their district received a research based grant for a program called Expectation Graduation intended to target 9th grade students to get them in line for on-time graduation. He stated that their action research focused on looking at changing the way they delivered instruction and they spent a great deal of time looking at the data and reading research that other districts had provided. His advice for instructional leaders involved looking at what others are doing and finding a way to translate that into what you are doing and discovering what fits in your situation. He said that you need to ask the question “What is practical for you?” in order to directly apply your situation to student learning and the environment you are looking at whether it is a classroom, campus, or district-wide. Something I learned from Dr. Lewis is that students benefit more from practical rather than theoretical research.