Hope as Strategy: The Effectiveness of an Innovation of the Mind . . .

An Action Reserach Dissertation

My action research dissertation began with a research topic to explore possible misalignment(s) of policy, practice, expectations, and what schools are engaged in when compared to what is required for students to be successful in post-secondary environments. Action research is a cyclical and reflective process (Ivankova, 2015; Mertler, 2014; Mills, 2011). In my action research journey, I am now situated between what I have learned thus far, what I have initially acted upon, my current cycle of research, and how I plan to move forward. What I anticipate as I progress, is a career where the cycles of action research never end, they are passed on in a process of “re-solving” (Rittlel & Webber, 1973, p. 160) complex social issues. As I make this journey a central theme has emerged, that of the importance of hope in navigating the complex ecological systems that we may be embedded in (Bronfrenbrenner, 1977; 1994).

Hope has been described as an ontological requirement in supporting educators working in communities stricken with poverty (Freire, 2014). There is a growing body of literature in support of the importance of hope in education (McCoy & Bowen, 2015; Lopez, 2013; Webb, 2013; Bullough & Hall-Kenyon, 2012; Sheehan & Rall, 2011; Duncan-Andrade. 2009). My action research dissertation focused on exploring and implementing innovations to advance student achievement through a systemic praxis of critical inquiry of our beliefs about the the world, students, and what we can accomplish together through participatory action research.

This website was established to share with participants, increase research transparency, and provide a means of active reflection during my action research journey on this topic. It will be maintained for no less than five years after the study as part of my goal to increase democratic validity and transparency of the research process.

For our students—

Shawn T. Loescher, Ed.D.


April 2020: AERA Action Research SIG names Hope as Strategy as dissertation of the year for 2020.

December 2018: Publication of Dissertation

October 29, 2018: This dissertation was defended without revisions. on October 29, 2018.

© 2020 Shawn T. Loescher. More information at www.shawnloescher.com