Teaching Topics

Teaching Topics

We have selected a number of topics to explore as a learning circle during the 2017-18 year. Each of these topics has been discussed and we share our collective thinking. We are providing ways for your to join these discussions or start new ones. There is a form at the end of this page for proposing a topic you would like the community to discuss.


Framing the Research Question

Led by Linda Purrington

The Action Research process begins with finding a focus and then "... identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretcial perspectives the researchers hold relating to the focus" (Sagor, 2000, p. 4). The third step in the action research process involves "generating a set of personally meaningful research questions to guide the inquiry" (p. 4).

This Action Research Community (ARC) project seeks to explore ways in which professors of action research help their students frame meaningful research questions.

You are invited to share your ideas, resources, and issues you may have experienced and addressed related to framing research questions.


Ethical Challenges of Action Research

Led by Jennifer Robins

What are the ethical challenges of action research and what are the best ways of addressing them? If action research is "doing your job" when or in what ways do Institutional Review Boards (IRB) need to approve the process. Reflective practice does not require IRB review but action research is SHARING outcomes with others. What school and university policies are needed for action research. How can we help IRB review panels to understand the different needs of action research review? K12 school districts often don't have IRBs, but practitioners practice action research using routine educational. Is 'routine' defined somewhere.

Blending Theory and Practice

Led by Margaret Riel

How do we help those who we support doing action research ground the development of their living theory in the context of their experiences AND the history of learning theories? How can we best help educators to understand the relevance of learning theories quickly when they do not have time to master all of the theoretical traditions. What strategies, resources or practices do we have or can we create to help student understand what it means to take a theoretical approach to understanding learning?


Data Collection and Analysis

Led by Kathy Shaffer

How can teachers of action research help students gain an empirical approach and a critical eye in understanding change in action research? It is a challenge to help new action researchers understand that evidence-based action research is not the same thing as experimental or evaluation research. Studying activity systems requires some adjustments of past understandings about research.


Action Research and Leadership Development

Led by Donna Azodi

Action Research can be used as a tool for preparing school principals. School leadership impacts student learning and high-quality principals are vital to the effectiveness of our schools. Principals who know how to both use data and support their teachers to use data in a systematic process of inquiry will be able to help others see how to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom and school change. This project will explore the impact the implementation of action research has on leadership development.


Action Research Competence for Professional Learning

Led by Laura Dino

Our world advances and evolves as time passes, education is not far behind. At the global level, the competences are worked on and the integral development of the student is sought for induction into the working world.

When applying action research, professional competences are developed, speaking of the students at the university level:

What would those competences be?

How does action research affect the development of values and attitudes?

How does action research support novices for their profession?


Youth Action Research

Led by Joseph Shosh

Action research is done with people, rather an on people. Recognizing the transformative power of action research, it is often the case that action researchers want students to feel the power of contributing to the enrichment of their communities. How can we support action researchers to involve students in meaningful, generative work in their communities. What is the difference between class projects and youth participatory action research (Y-PAR)? What do teachers need to know to be able to guide students in this process? This section focuses on teaching strategies to support Y-PAR.


Teaching the Art of Reflection

Led by Teri Marcos

The art of reflection in research, being backwards by design, is both an arrival point at which intersection the researcher's learning is consolidated, as much as it is a starting point for new understanding. Effective reflection considers what happened, and what will; what was learned, and what new learning yet awaits. What emotional and/or task skill sets do action researchers best engage through reflective practice and what is the impact within their organizations? This Action Research Community seeks to explore ways professors of action research can both assist their students to reflect at multiple stages of their projects as well as to encourage their journey forward with new understanding.