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Study suggests the relevance of non-parametric statistics of sign test for action research
A research study to be presented at a conference on mathematics education in Ajmer on December 20 suggests that for rapid quantitative analysis of action research, the most relevant statistics for a classroom instructor who wishes to improve his or practice continually, the sign test is the most relevant technique because of the ease of calculations through chi-squared analysis. The title of the study is “Exploring and Identifying Applied Mathematics for Action Research by School Teachers: A Research and Development Initiative.”
According to a study done by this citizen journalist (Lalit Kishore), action research is a self-reflective exercise by a practitioner to his or her own practice and requires rapid and non-intrusive calculations to make a sense of the effectiveness of the on-going level of professional practice and auto-suggestion for improvement. Hitherto, the action research in India was limited to problem-solving and qualitative analysis and making recommendations.

The present study is meant to give action research by teachers a quantitative orientation to connect to other researchers in mainstream education.
Under the study, a research and development (R&D) attempt was made as a part of applied mathematics for action research by teachers for a class as a small sample.

The objectives of the research and development were: (1) To identify non- parametric statistical techniques for action research; (2) To formulate the analytical table for summary of action research data; and (3) To validate the applied mathematics techniques with five teachers.

A mixed research methodology for the study consisted of secondary research (N=3 books) and development material as descriptive sheets for practitioners and expert validation. The outcomes of the study were: (a) a brief on non-parametric statistical techniques (validity index; reliability index, rank correlation, chi-square test, contingency tables) in the form of a mini-booklet, and (b) teachers’ reaction to the material using the chi-square sign test.

It was found that teachers liked the material and expressed their willingness to use it since Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan is promoting action research for teacher’s development. The sign test can be used to study the favourability of an intervention and for studying the efficacy of a method by using the before and after design and incremental positive or negative change.

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