It is an essential guide for teachers, senior staff and co-ordinators of teacher professional development who are interested in investigating their own practice in order to improve it.
Bridget Somekh, BA, PGCE, Adv Dip Ed, MA, PhD, retired from her post as Professor of Educational Research in the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008. Since then she has been busy with overseas consultancy work in New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong. You can visit her website at: www.bridgetsomekh.com
Herbert Altrichter, University of Linz, Austria.
Peter Posch, Universitat Klagenfurt, Austria.
Allan Feldman, University of Massachusetts, US.
The handbook contains theoretical and practical based chapters by highly respected scholars whose work has been seminal in building knowledge and expertise in the field. It also contains chapters exemplifying the work of prominent practitioner and community groups working outside universities.
The Editors provide an introduction and conclusion, as well as an opening chapter which charts the historical development of action research and provides an analysis of its underlying theories. The handbook is organized into four sections, each beginning with a short introduction:
- Action research methodology: diversity of rationales and practices
- Professional: Knowledge production, staff development, and the status of educators
- Personal: Self-awareness, development and identity
- Political: Popular knowledge, difference, and frameworks for change
This is a key resource for scholars and graduate students at doctors and masters levels, as well as school leaders and administrators.
Susan Noffke is Associate Professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign and co-editor with R.B. Stevenson of Educational Action Research (Teachers College Press, 1995). She taught at the primary school level for a decade, and has led masters and doctoral level courses in action research for the past 20 years. She continues to work with many collaborative projects with schools and school districts.
Bridget Somekh is Professor of Educational Research at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. She is a founder editor of the Educational Action Research journal and has been a co-ordinator of the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) for many years. She is co-editor of Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SAGE: 2005) and author of Action Research: a Methodology for Change and Development (Open University Press: 2006).
Drawing from studies carried out by teachers and other professionals, as well as from the authors’ own international practical experience, the book provides detail on multiple educational contexts from primary education to university training and beyond. It contains over 50 practical methods and strategies to put into action, and explores key areas, such as:
the purpose, roots, and varieties of action research
collaborating with a critical friend, research participants, or your peers
choosing a data collection method
observing and documenting situations
making sense of your data
action research for professional development.
This key text also provides crucial tools, such as:
a simple ‘quick start’ nine step guide
a toolbox for producing written reports
a criteria for guiding the quality of action research.
A concise yet thorough introduction to action research, Teachers Investigate Their Work is an essential, practical, and easily accessible handbook for teachers, senior staff, and researchers who want to engage in innovation and improve their practice.
The book is unique in bringing together chapters by scholars well-known internationally for their original contributions to educational theory and research practice. Many books in this area are no more than guides on how to do research or text books reiterating rather narrow frameworks of research paradigms, this book both breaks new ground and sets the tone for discussions about the future path of educational research in the coming years.
A companion website is available for this text!
"This book provides an excellent balance between theory and practical application in social research. The book works well to develop students' understanding of particular methods of inquiry, embedding them within "real world" settings. I envisage that it will help students to understand the nuances of particular approaches, the complimentarity of certain methods, and the areas of conflict/contention within social research in a way that overcomes the sometimes abstract nature of these discussions" - Dr Jon Tan, School of Education and Professional Training, Leeds Metropolitan University
"This book unlocks all of the important areas of social science research in an easily digestible and stimulating style. Both students and supervisors in a range of disciplines will find this an excellent resource" - Fazal Rizvi, Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rather than being written by one or two `generalists', this innovative book is written by a large number of active researchers about their specialisms in methods/methodologies.
The book introduces all the key qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and methods and seeks to draw readers into a community of researchers engaged in reflection on the research process. Included are narrative accounts of carrying out a research study that explore the way in which the research design and methods are shaped by the methodology, discussing problematic issues, and reflecting on the way in which knowledge and understanding develop. Aimed at researchers and postgraduate students, it will also be invaluable for students at masters level.
Click on the companion website logo above to access additional resources and links to accompany each chapter in the book.
"Research Methods in the Social Sciences is a valuable pedagogical tool. It is organized as a dialogue between theory and key concepts, and practice - stories from the field allowing novices and scholars alike to see how critical interpretive research is actually conducted" - Norman K Denzin, University of Illinois