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What is Action Research?

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A brief definition and explanation of Action Research

A brief definition and explanation of Action Research

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  • 1. What is Action Research? Dr. Greg Waddell Copyright © Greg Waddell 2014-
  • 2. According to the experts . . . it is . . .
  • 3. “a cycle
  • 4. “a cycle of posing questions,
  • 5. “a cycle of posing questions, gathering data,
  • 6. “a cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflection,
  • 7. “a cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflection, & deciding on a course of action.” Eileen Ferrance, "Action Research," Providence, RI: The Education Alliance, 2000, available from www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/themes_ed/act_research.pdf
  • 8. Kurt Lewin described it as a process of ... Planning Kurt Lewin, "Action Research & Minority Problems," Journal of Social Issues 2, no. 4 (1946): 34-46.
  • 9. Kurt Lewin described it as a process of ... Planning Action, Kurt Lewin, "Action Research & Minority Problems," Journal of Social Issues 2, no. 4 (1946): 34-46.
  • 10. Kurt Lewin described it as a process of ... Planning Action, and Searching Kurt Lewin, "Action Research & Minority Problems," Journal of Social Issues 2, no. 4 (1946): 34-46.
  • 11. Learning Point Associates (http://www.learningpt.org/) define it as . . .
  • 12. “Inquiry or research in the context of focused efforts to improve the quality of an organization and its performance.”
  • 13. It is a cyclical process …
  • 14. You start out with a problem. Problem P
  • 15. You design a potential solution. Problem Design D P
  • 16. You take action on your solution. D P A Problem Design Action
  • 17. You reflect on the results. D A P R Problem Design Action Reflection
  • 18. You capture the learning. D A P R C Problem Design Action Reflection Capture
  • 19. Then, you repeat the process. D P A D A P R R C C Problem Design Action Reflection Capture
  • 20. Again and again … P D A P D P A D A P R R C C C R Problem Design Action Reflection Capture
  • 21. First, you need a good problem
  • 22. A Good Problem is ...
  • 23. A Good Problem is ...
  • 24. A Good Problem is ...
  • 25. A Good Problem is ...
  • 26. A Good Problem Demands
  • 27. A Good Problem Resists
  • 28. A Good Problem Leads To . . .
  • 29. A Good Problem Leads To . . .
  • 30. Action Research requires that we REFRAME the problem
  • 31. by looking at it in different contexts
  • 32. from different perspectives
  • 33. as a part of a larger system
  • 34. by making comparisons
  • 35. by applying the problem to different groups
  • 36. As You Implement the Plan . . . Control the progress
  • 37. As You Implement the Plan . . . Control the progress Collect the data (evidence)
  • 38. As You Implement the Plan . . . Control the progress Collect the data (evidence) Present periodic reports
  • 39. Another essential element of Action Research is . . .
  • 40. “A cycle of action and reflection is the heart of action learning.” Tom Bourner, Alan Cooper and Linda France, "Action Learning Across a University Community," Innovations in Education & Training International 37, no. 1 (2000): 2-9. available from Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed December 20, 2006).
  • 41. Reflection is . . . A process of entering into “dialogue based on the data collected and [being] guided by a systemic framework to discover the root causes of the organization's problems.” Michael Beer, Russell A. Eisenstat and Burt Spector, "Why Change Programs Don't Produce Change," Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1990, 158-66; available from EBSCOhost.
  • 42. What did we intend to do? These questions are used by the U.S. Army for their After-Action Reviews. Garvin, 2000, p. 107.
  • 43. What actually happened?
  • 44. Why did this happen?
  • 45. What are we going to do the next time?
  • 46. Lastly, we need to capture the learning
  • 47. Information must be captured and then made institutional--
  • 48. Information must be captured and then made institutional--
  • 49. Information must be captured and then made institutional-- a process that involves recording and storing the learning in a way that is accessible to others.
  • 50. In a nutshell . . . Action Research seeks to accomplish two goals:
  • 51. In a nutshell . . . Action Research seeks to accomplish two goals: 1. Stimulate Learning and
  • 52. In a nutshell . . . Action Research seeks to accomplish two goals: 1. Stimulate Learning and 2. Make a Difference.
  • 53. For more information contact Dr. Waddell at . . . Greg.Waddell@macuniversity.edu 901.581.5735 www.macuniversity.edu
  • 54. • Grate Dane and Chihuahua by unknown photographer (unknown to me) http://www.bloggyaward.com/pets/great-dane/ • Texture water: _MG_1662bi.jpg by somadjinn http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=170527 & • Beautiful Spider Web http://www.eglobe1.com/index.php/2006/11/12/spid er-web-after-rain/ • Window photos are my own • All other photos from Microsoft Clip art Office Online Credits

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