“While there are many books out there on action research, few immerse the reader so effectively in the nitty-gritty realities of the method, while also pushing school practitioners to use inquiry to challenge an unacceptable status quo. This text should be read by all teachers and school leaders who care about empowering students and communities through action research.”
—Ruth Johnson, Professor of Educational Administration, California State University, Los Angeles
Author, Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap
“A highly accessible and informative book for K–12 educators and university graduate students. Provides very useful examples of what action research looks like when carried out in schools. This book has always been at the top of my recommended resources list.”
—Ken Zeichner, Hoefs-Bascom Professor of Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Discover the most empowering pathway to improved practice in education!
Since the publication of the first edition of Studying Your Own School, practitioner action research has become an established professional development practice in schools and teacher education programs. While the fundamentals of practitioner action research have not changed, the challenges of large scale reform have dramatically altered the context of teaching.
This extensive revision of the best-selling book includes the latest investigative methods and reflects the current educational environment. New features of the second edition include; A “Getting Started” chapter on initial issues and considerations; More advice on crafting the research question and research design; Up-to-date information on political and ethical considerations; New examples of practitioner action research studies; A focus on promoting equity and social justice
Packed with updated examples to help orient the reader, this book is unique in providing the theoretical and historical underpinnings of practitioner action research and all the “how-to” information necessary for successful classroom application.
- Chapter 1: What Is Action Research?
- Defining Action Research
- Working Assumptions
- Action Research Differs from Traditional Academic Research without Necessarily Being Less Rigorous
- Action Research Is Political
- There Are Many Valid Ways to Do Action Research
- Action Research Can Empower and Include a Greater Number of Voices
- Action Research Is Best Done Collaboratively
- The Multiple Positionalities of the Researcher(s) in Action Research
- “Measuring Up” or Reclaiming Our Knowledge?
- Chapter 2: Merging Educational Practice and Research: A New Paradigm
- A Brief History of Action Research
- The Multiple Traditions of Action Research
- Beginnings of Action Research
- The Action Research Tradition
- Action Research in Education
- The Teacher-as-Researcher Movement in Great Britain
- Participatory Research: The Legacy of Paulo Freire
- Action Science
- The Teacher Researcher Movement in North America
- Action Research as Self-Study and Autoethnography
- Practitioner Action Research: From Academic Tradition to Social Movement
- Action Research: Epistemology
- Quality Criteria for Practitioner Action Research
- Criteria for “Validity” or “Trustworthiness” in Practitioner Action Research
- Are the Findings of Action Research Generalizable?
- Action Research: Politics
- The Politics of Knowledge, Institutional Change, and Professionalism
- What Do We Mean by “Politics”?
- Institutional Micropolitics
- The Politics of Redefining Professionalism
- The Politics of Educational Knowledge
- The Politics of Schooling as a Social Institution
- Chapter 3: What Does Practitioner Action Research Look Like?
- Self-Study Action Research: Jill M. Hermann-Wilmarth and “the Case of a Disruptive Preservice Teacher”
- Action Research in the Classroom: Monica Richards and the “Bums” of 8H
- The Spill of Individual Research to “the System”: Robyn Russell
- Expanding Theory Through Teacher Research: Cynthia Ballenger
- Group Collaboration Across Sites: The Principals' Group
- School-University Partnerships: The Denbigh Action Research Group
- Final Thoughts
- Chapter 4: Empowerment and Practitioner Action Research: An Example
- Getting Started
- The Process of Empowerment
- Is This Racism?
- Responding to Their World
- Political and Methodological Implications of Empowerment
- The Negotiation of Multiple Roles and Multiple Levels of Reality
- Transformation Becomes a Kind of War
- But Is It Research?
- Chapter 5: The Research Question, Ethical Considerations, and Research Design
- Crafting a Question for Study
- Individual or Collective Questions
- Questions Derived from Outside Assessments
- Is It Feasible?
- Assessing Tacit Knowledge
- Summing Up
- Ethical Considerations
- Balancing Risks and Benefits
- Gaining Needed Approvals
- Common Ethical Concerns
- Informed Consent
- Supports for Ethical Practices
- The Initial Design of the Study
- Considering Validity/Trustworthiness Criteria in Research Design
- Methods of Establishing Validity or Trustworthiness
- Summing Up
- Final Thoughts on Getting Started
- Chapter 6: Qualitative Research Approaches for Practitioner Action Research
- Adapting the Characteristics of Qualitative Research
- Dealing with Subjectivity
- Pursuing the Research Question
- Data-Gathering Methods
- Interviews and Surveys
- Archives and Documents
- Journals and Diaries
- A Word on Mixed Methods
- Data Organization and Analysis
- Organizing Data
- Approaches to Analysis
- Writing Up the Research