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Richard Schmuck demonstrates how educators can use personal reflection and action research to convert frustrations into solvable problems and improved professional practice.
Reflecting the editor’s extensive experience, recent developments, and insights from experts, this updated collection helps educators engage in action research to improve educational outcomes.
Despite the fact that publishers and policy-makers have had increasing influence over classrooms, it is the teacher who must make decisions on a minute-by-minute basis about what will help specific students learn. Similarly, local administrators must make key decisions at the school and district level that will best serve particular communities of teachers, students, and parents. Action research offers educators and other stakeholders a systematic way to research and reflect on specific students, classrooms, schools, and communities in order to solve local problems and improve local conditions. This book offers an overview of various definitions and perspectives on action research without prescribing any single approach. Instead, key questions are explored: Who conducts action research? Why? How? Possible answers sketch the many types of possible projects, ranging from an individual teacher trying to improve the experience of a particular student to a group of educators and community members striving to improve local socioeconomic conditions. The Action Research Primer presents an accessible but comprehensive introduction to the field, providing a basic compass and map for the interested practitioner. Chapters include a brief historical overview, an introduction to competing research paradigms, discussion of key issues that inform project design, a serviceable guide to process, and an extensive list of resources pointing to more detail on the many categories, communities, and publication outlets of action research.
This book is concerned with action research as a form of teacher professional development. In it, John Elliot traces the historical emergence and current significance of action research in schools. He examines action research as a "cultural innovation" with transformative possibilites for both the professional culture of teachers and teacher educators in academia.
How can practice be understood and developed? What part can action research play in that process? What principles lie at the heart of action research and how can they be adopted? How can action research bring about democratic and collaborative changes to practice? These and other questions are answered in this book which offers both a practical step-by-step guide to action research and an examination of the underlying principles and challenges. Action research as an approach aims to generate knowledge and achieve principled change. This book explores the overarching features and a variety of models of action research to provide advice, guidance, and support on its conduct and to identify challenges that may arise, with a focus on understanding and changing practice as a result. Throughout the book examples of action research illustrate each of the stages of action research so that you can see how action research has been conducted and applied in practice, and how this relates to the principles and practices of action research discussed in the book. Conducting action research can present a number of challenges. This book includes reflection points on the challenges posed, as well as advice on how these challenges may be addressed in order to achieve embedded and sustainable change. "The book to recommend to your students to help them understand how action research has developed as a form of inquiry and support them to plan their own studies. By clearly setting out the principles that underpin the process, and by linking to examples of how others have carried out research across a range of professions, it goes beyond being a basic introductory text and provides them with multiple routes into this complex and challenging area. Whether you are a novice or experienced researcher this book will provide you with new ways of thinking and challenge your conceptions about the theory and practice of action research. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical and practical resources it will help you position yourself amongst the various influences that have shaped the area. The clearly laid out chapters provide you with a step by step process to designing an action research project. At each stage it provides links to key constructs and examples that will help you clarify your thinking and support as you implement your study." Professor Mark Hadfield, Director, Centre for Developmental and Applied Research in Education, University of Wolverhampton, UK "This book fully embraces the 'glorious and challenging diversity of action research' and is essential reading for anyone interested in undertaking any form of educational research. Written by a passionate exponent of action research, this book provides an excellent introduction into the topic and develops a number of key issues about the nature and context of action research. The author provides a detailed discussion of the current debate and goes on to deal with the practical challenges involved in the development of action research projects. Well written, in a challenging and accessible style, Action Research makes a major contribution to the improvement of teaching and learning that lies at the heart of action research." Ian Abbott, Director, Institute of Education, University of Warwick, UK "This refreshing new book will prove invaluable to teachers embarking on Masters-level Action Research studies. By drawing widely on scholarship to illuminate the practical challenges and problematic issues arising for practitioner-researchers, this book operates as a guide, a resource and also as a stimulating companion through the research process; it encourages readers to design and to refine action research approaches that meet the needs of their learners and the wider community. It will help teachers to redefine their practices and to confidently establish themselves as principled andprofessional teacher-researchers." Dr Andy Convery, University of Sunderland, UK "This book is a rich and useful text both for those wanting to explore the practice of action research and the key ideas underpinning it as an approach. Andrew Townsend brings much experience as a researcher, thinker and developer of action research in educational settings to this book." Professor Colleen McLaughlin, University of Cambridge (moving to Sussex) "I have recommended this book for practitioners on the action research programme we carry out. It is much more than a how to guide; it raises the fundamental questions about the nature of action research. One of its key strengths is that it discusses the tensions within action research in a critical manner and invites readers to reach their own conclusions. It succeeds admirably in its aim of appealing to a broad readership, including those new to action research or those wanting to know more about it." Mick Hammond, University of Warwick, UK
A handbook of research techniques for teachers, this book documents the historical development and changing nature of action research in the curriculum and aims to encourage teacher development through curriculum inquiry. It describes 57 action research tools, ten of which are new.
Action research continues to see a growth in interest both internationally and across disciplines. This book demonstrates the diversity in settings and focus for action research and provides a guide to its core aspiration: to achieve principled change. Written by authors from a range of countries and range of disciplines (including education, health care, palliative care, social work and community development), this book answers these key questions: How can action research be used to achieve principled change? How has action research been applied in various disciplines and in different countries? What can be learnt about the conduct of action research from these diverse settings? By means of detailed case studies of successful projects and discussions that challenge and raise theoretical questions, this book explores some of the contemporary cutting edge applications and conceptualisations of action research. Action research paves the way for the empowerment of people involved in social action, and the examples of successful change processes that are the core of this book will prove inspirational and provide practical advice. Written by a range of leading international researchers in the field, this book will define the future for action research for years to come.

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