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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
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 presents a collection of stories from action research projects in schools and a university. This collection is more than simply an illustration of the scope of action research in education - it shows how projects that differ on a variety of dimensions can raise similar themes, problems and issues. The book begins with theme chapters discussing action research, social justice and partnerships in research. The case study chapters cover topics such as: * school environment - how to make a school a healthier place to be * parents - how to involve them more in decision-making * students as action researchers * a state system - a collaborative effort between university staff and a state education department * gender - how to promote gender equity in schools * improving assessment in the social sciences * staff development planning * doing a PhD through action research * writing up action research projects.
This book presents a fresh view of action research as a methodology uniquely suited to researching the processes of innovation and change. Drawing on twenty-five years’ experience of leading or facilitating action research projects, Bridget Somekh argues that action research can be a powerful systematic intervention, which goes beyond describing, analyzing and theorizing practices to reconstruct and transform those practices. The book examines action research into change in a range of educational settings, such as schools and classrooms, university departments, and a national evaluation of technology in schools. The opening chapter presents eight methodological principles and discusses key methodological issues. The focus then turns to action research in broader contexts such as ‘southern’ countries, health, business and management, and community development. Each chapter thereafter takes a specific research project as its starting point and critically reviews its design, relationships, knowledge outcomes, political engagement and impact. Action Researchis important reading for postgraduate students and practitioner researchers in education, health and management, as well as those in government agencies and charities who wish to research and evaluate change and development initiatives. It is also valuable for pre-service and in-service training of professionals such as teachers, nurses and managers.
This volume sets out to provide experience-based tools for those needing to assess and improve teaching and learning quality. It presents a detailed framework explaining what action learning and research is with information on how to carry out an action learning project.
"Action Research Essentials contains a variety of online resources as well as rubrics and checklists to help students design questions, evaluate online sources, write the literature review, and create the action research report."--Jacket.
This book addresses a key issue in higher learning, university education and scientific research: the widespread difficulty researchers, experts and students from all disciplines face when trying to contribute to change in complex social settings characterized by uncertainty and the unknown. More than ever, researchers need flexible means and grounded theory to combine people-based and evidence-based inquiry into challenging situations that keep evolving and do not lend themselves to straightforward technical explanations and solutions. In this book, the authors propose innovative strategies for engaged inquiry building on insights from many disciplines and lessons from the history of Participatory Action Research (PAR), including French psychosociology. The ongoing evolution of PAR has had a lasting legacy in fields ranging from community development to education, public engagement, natural resource management and problem solving in the workplace. All formulations have in common the idea that research must be done 'with' people and not 'on' or 'for' people. Inquiry of this kind makes sense of the world through efforts to transform it, as opposed to simply observing and studying human behaviour and people's views about reality, in the hope that meaningful change will happen somewhere down the road. The book contributes many new tools and conceptual foundations to this longstanding tradition, grounded in real-life examples of collective fact-finding, analysis and decision-making from around the world. It provides a modular textbook on participatory action research and related methods, theory and practice, suitable for a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as working professionals.

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