Tag Archives: action research

Why is transdisciplinarity needed?

Transdisciplinary research integrates methods and concepts of different disciplines in systematic processes.
Q: Why is transdisciplinarity needed?
A: To address real world challenges.
Q: Why is transdisciplinary research needed to do that? What does it do that research in disciplines doesn’t do well? Continue reading

Are we there yet? Historical scan from biographical origins of Action Research teaching

Informed by the section of Noah Rubin’s unpublished Ph.D. dissertation about the teaching in my Action Research course and the background I bring to it, I asked students to prepare a historical scan on my behalf.  This post presents the instructions and the result I produced.

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On methods: The need for dialogue and reflective practice

The conventional status hierarchy for methods of research could (should?) be inverted.

It is conventional for social science and education doctoral programs to include courses on quantitative methods (statistics and perhaps survey and experimental design).  Sometimes such courses are supplemented by qualitative methods.  Action Research may be mentioned, but the value given to the products of Action Research is lower to the extent that there are multiple authors, including non-academics, and distributed in non-academic venues (e.g., reports, meetings).  Moreover, tools and processes for dialogue, collaboration, and reflective practice are rarely if ever included in methods courses.  After all, how are they related to evidence-based practice?  Let us consider where this status hierarchy gets us. Continue reading

Evaluation of educational change

These notes capture the state of evolution at the end of Spring ’01 of a graduate course on Evaluation of Educational Change that later became Action Research for Educational, Professional and Personal Change (using a framework described in the book Taking Yourself Seriously, http://bit.ly/TYS2012). Continue reading

On gaps

What leads a person to do something different, to be creative?  It is said that design begins with a gap in the user’s experience (Ulrich 2011).  However, we might note that a person only experiences as a gap something they experience as a gap.  (The “objective” gap that a third party could point to is not necessarily a gap “subjectively” for the person.)  Moreover, if the experience of a gap is not accompanied by a sense that something can be designed and used to bridge the gap, then it can slip out of the person’s day-to-day attention. Continue reading

Modes of creative learning in microworlds, messyworlds, and the real world

The items in this table are not intended to be comprehensive or be self-explanatory (thus the sources as entry-points at the bottom).  The schematic contrasts are, however, intended to stimulate discussion about the different kinds of creativity that are experienced in relation to the structure and boundaries of the different spaces of learning and action.

Space Microworld Messy World Real world
Examples Scratch, Turtle Project-based learning (PBL), Collaborative explorations Internships, apprenticeships, work, activist organizations, living in general
Tools Pre-built, available online Cases or scenarios in which problems are not well defined Action Research Cycles & Epicycles framework
Processes The tools’ simple rules allow wide diversity of products (like “generative grammar”) Define questions for inquiry relevant to the participant’s work & lives.Check-in & sharing each session; end with taking stock (e.g, Critical Incident Questionnaires). Action Research traditionally progresses from evaluations of previous actions -> stages of planning and implementing some action -> evaluation of its effects.  Add to this basic cycle: reflection & dialogue; building a constituency to implement the change; inquiring into the background; looking ahead to future stages.
Connections (among participants) Free borrowing from shared material; Timely help from others; Admiration for products of others Through listening well to each other, and to oneself, providing +delta feedback and references/referrals, and pacing/inspiring each other. Constituency-building.Also: Friendships, give or take risks to initiate new friendships or end relationships; Negotiating paths within the politics of unequal access to resources
Contributions to the Topic or field Not required, but anything is made by individuals with acknowledgement. Separate contributions from participants, but linked to the case. Change, based in research & constituency-building, implemented & evaluated.
Experience in relation to Carry over into subsequent learning, work, and living Experience of being creative -> desire to continue playing in the microworld.But the experience is dependent on the insulation of the microworld from messy world or real world complexities. Experience of learning and synthesizing -> further digestion & directions for inquiry.  It is no longer possible to simply continue along previous lines.But the experience happens within a “container” and is not tested by application and constituency-building in real world.When ready, participate again with positive, but circumscribed expectations. “What we come out with is very likely to be larger and more durable than what any one person came in with; the more so, the more voices that are brought out by the process.”Evaluation of the effects of an action or change can lead to new or revised ideas about further changes and about how to build a constituency around them, thus stimulating ongoing cycles & epicycles of Action Research.
Sources http://learn.media.mit.edu https://pcrcr.wordpress.com (Use tag cloud or category “Group Process” to select relevant posts) http://bit.ly/113g2dg