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Practical Action Research for Change

Practical Action Research for Change

Second Edition

Foreword by Eleanor Perry

March 2014 | 192 pages | Corwin
'This book is a modern catalyst for change in higher education. I have made it required reading for doctoral students, administrators, and faculty who must update their pedagogy to raise student learning' - Joseph Martin Stevenson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jackson State University

Action research provides a process for educators to individually and collectively study their own situations, try new practices, evaluate those innovations, adjust, and try again.

In this second, revised edition, Richard Schmuck demonstrates how educators at all levels can use action research to improve their professional practice and change the culture of their schools, districts, or communities. He shows how educators, by reflecting on their past, present, and future professional practice, can convert frustrations into solvable problems, and offers guidance about the potential pitfalls and challenges experienced when engaging in action research.

This updated workbook covers both proactive and responsive models of action research and also includes

o Easy-to-understand explanations of methods, steps, and phases

o A chapter devoted to questionnaires, interviews, observations, and public documents

o Guidelines for both solo and cooperative projects

o "How-to" worksheets that guide readers through the process

o Journal-writing activities at the end of every chapter

o Case studies of real action research projects

Practical Action Research for Change is the essential tool for educators to tailor action research to their specific situation and improve professional practice.

About the Author
1. Reflective Professional Practice
Reflections of the Future, Past, and Present

Reflective Educators Seek Self-Knowledge

The Search for Self-Knowledge Leads to Solitary Dialogue

Self-Knowledge and Solitary Dialogue Lead to Professional Maturity

Mature Educators Try to Improve Continually

Using the Tools of Reflection to Move Toward Action Research

Journal-Writing Assignments

2. Educators and Continuous Improvement
Three Faces of Continuous Improvement

Action Research: Two Types of Social Scientists

Differences Between Action Research and Traditional Research

An Example of Action Research

Processes of Continuous Improvement

Journal-Writing Assignments

3. Action Research: Definitions, Models, Steps, and Phases
Contemporary Need for Action Research

Definitions of Action Research

Action Research and Group Dynamics

Two Models of Action Research

Three Phases of Action Research

Journal-Writing Assignments

4. Research Methods: Procedures, Instruments, Special Issues, and Ethics
Data Collection in Action Research

Special Issues of Action Research

The Ethics of Action Research

Journal-Writing Assignments

5. Proactive Action Research
Marilyn Lund

James Johnson

The Six Steps of Proactive Action Research

The Range of Proactive Models

Journal-Writing Assignments

6. Responsive Action Research
Matt Reardon

Beverly Lee

The Six Steps of Responsive Action Research

The Range of Responsive Models

Journal-Writing Assignments

7. Group Dynamics of Cooperative Action Research
Positive Social Support

Critical Friendship

Probing Conversation

Effective Group Dynamics

Journal-Writing Assignments

8. Types of Cooperative Action Research
One-on-One Partnerships

Small Face-to-Face Groups

Whole-School Staffs

Districtwide Educator Networks and Stakeholders

Case Studies

Journal-Writing Assignment

9. Prominent Authors on Action Research
Its Democratic Philosophical Roots

John Dewey, Mary Parker Follett, and Kurt Lewin

Alice Miel and Stephen Corey

Ronald Lippitt

Paulo Freire

Reginald Revans

Chris Argyris and Donald Schön

Stephen Kemmis and Jean McNiff

William Foote Whyte

Richard Sagor

Geoffrey Mills

Teacher Research

Journal-Writing Assignment


"This book is a modern catalyst for change in higher education. I have made it required reading for doctoral students, administrators, and faculty who must update their pedagogy to raise student learning."

Joseph Martin Stevenson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jackson State University

"This is a wonderful book for learning communities to use to self-evaluate prior to beginning new teaching techniques, and throughout the process."

Donna Walker Tileston, President
Strategic Teaching and Learning

"A comprehensive tool to support learning communities as they endeavor to improve professional practice."

Curriculum Connections, Spring 2007
School Library Journal

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Eleanor Perry


Chapter 1

Richard A. Schmuck

Richard A. Schmuck is professor emeritus at the University of Oregon, where he chaired the dissertations of 132 doctoral students who are from all parts of the world. He taught thousands of other educators worldwide about action research, group dynamics, and organization development. He has served on the faculties of the University of Michigan, Temple University, and Leuven University (Belgium), was the first president of the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education. Schmuck is a visiting Professor at Arizona State University-West.Schmuck is the author of 20 books and 190 articles. His best-known book is Group... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412938594