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TAR in Practice: An Illustration

The following is an example of institutionally-focused Teacher Action Research. This is an actual example of a TAR project from a school in northern Virginia.

1. Problem identification:
Sexual harassment. (Many problems related to diversity and equity are already present. We should not wait for a horrendous occurrence to address them.)

2. Evaluation:
a. TAR team identifies the diversity and equity context‹there is a general legacy and history of sexism at the school. Boys exhibit a sense of entitlement and exert their dominance through sexist jokes, objectification of girls, and physical harassment.
b. TAR team discusses possible evaluative measures for assessing how the problem affects the experiences of all students. They choose to conduct a campus-wide survey to assess whether students know what sexual harassment is and to measure how often students experience different forms of harassment, and from whom. They choose to follow up the survey with gender-specific focus groups that will study the findings and dialogue about solutions.

3. Recommendation:
a. TAR team shares its findings with the school community.
b. TAR team recommends strategies for ending sexual harassment at the school. These recommendations call for action on the part of administration, faculty, staff, including sexual harassment prevention and anti-sexism education for all members of the community (with specific attention to the most common forms of sexual harassment identified in the survey), revision of the student code of conduct specifically addressing sexual harassment, more organized monitoring of public spaces, and clearer guidelines for reporting and handling harassment claims.

4. Practice:
a. School or unit adopts and institutionalizes the recommendations.
b. TAR team institutionalizes on-going assessment measures to monitor the effects of the changes.

5. Reflection:
TAR team systematically considers the effectiveness of the changes and how these changes are affecting the school community.

6. Reevaluation:
TAR team identifies continued problems and new problems that may have emerged from the changes.

More on Teacher Action Research for Equity and Multicultural Education:

TAR Home
Stages of TAR for Equity and Multicultural Education
Initiating TAR in Your School

an Equity Literacy Institute and EdChange project
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