For the second cycle of the research, I used a couple of ways to collect data that included my observations, and collection of the student work and their portfolios.
Observations of students' learning activities were documented in my journal (http://xkarp.blogspot.com ). Students' new learning activities were analyzed for my own learning and improvement.
Student Work Analysis:
One of the learning circles used video to record their learning activities. Click here to view the video.
Through this movie, we can see how the students worked enthusiastically and collaboratively to design their projects and to prepare their lessons through the learning community. The role of community is a critical part of learning process. Especially important are norms for people learning from each other and continually attempting to improve. ( Bransford, Brown, & Cockling. 2000 ). In describing the learning process, Moore states that "learning is a community process of transformation of participation in sociocultural activities. In this view, learning is a collaboratively and socially constructed entity, rather than an individual possession; education is an inquiry as learners interact with peers around topic, activities, or readings with the guidance of an instructor who has particular expertise in the area." When describing learning environments in which children collaborate around meaningful projects and powerful ideas, the learning theorist, Seymour Papert states that kids will work in communities of common interest on rich projects that will connect with powerful ideas. ( Seymour Papert ).
The project that the students designed in the second quarter allowed them to get a new sense of themselves as learners - that setting a goal and working together to achieve it is something valuable to them. One of the students in the video show reflects that just in the first semester of this year, she has been enjoying Chinese much more and has been much more excited to come to class because of the new learning method. She thinks that we should continue what we have done in the first semester into the second semester.
Students' Portfolio Analysis:
Students' portfolios with final reflections which were records of the students' thoughts on various activities were collected and examined for student understanding and perceptions.Click here to see the data analysis.