Action Research Essentials

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-03
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Action Research Essentials is a practical guide born of the author's own experience working with students in the social sciences and education, providing a step-by-step outline of how to "do" action research--backed by the most extensive theory and research coverage on the market today. The author guides future researcher/practitioners through the action research process via numerous concrete illustrations and a wealth of on-line resources; positioning it as a fundamental component of practice, A key and unique strength of the book is its outreach to a much larger breadth of students than usually found in action research books. This book will illustrate all the steps in action research using examples from education, social work, psychology, sociology, nursing, medicine, and counseling. The structure of the book is intended as the sole textbook for a course devoted to naturalistic inquiry, practitioner research, or beginning qualitative methods, or can complement a general research course.

Author Biography

Dorothy Valcarcel Craig is a professor of education, certified online instructor, and program coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership at the College of Education and Behavioral Science, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She previously held the position of associate dean for Teacher Education.

Table of Contents

Figures, Tables, & Exhibitsp. xi
Prefacep. xv
The Authorp. xxi
Introduction to Action Researchp. 1
Introductionp. 2
What Is Action Research?p. 2
Action Research: Some Definitionsp. 4
Why Engage in Action Research?p. 6
Steps in the Processp. 10
Phases of an Action Research Studyp. 14
What Are Data?p. 18
When Is Action Research the Appropriate Choice?p. 21
How Can the Process Effect Change?p. 24
The Ethical Researcherp. 25
Summaryp. 26
Key Termsp. 27
Discussion Questionsp. 27
Suggested Topicsp. 27
Online Activitiesp. 28
The Process Beginsp. 29
The Action Research Environmentp. 30
Identifying Problems Suitable for Action Researchp. 31
Sources for Problems or Research Topicsp. 33
Considering the Value of a Problem or Topicp. 35
Narrowing the Focusp. 37
The Reflective Journal Revisitedp. 39
Concept Mapping and Focusp. 40
Reflecting on Relevancyp. 41
Inquiring, Questioning, Interviewing, and Gathering Informationp. 43
The IRB-Friend or Foe?p. 45
Informed Consent Forms and Assent Formsp. 50
A Few More Words on the IRBp. 52
Summaryp. 52
Key Termsp. 52
Discussion Questionsp. 53
Suggested Topicsp. 53
Online Activitiesp. 53
The Literature Reviewp. 55
The Literature Review and Action Researchp. 56
What Is a Literature Review?p. 56
Rationale for Reviewing Literaturep. 57
Literature Review for Action Researchp. 57
Conducting a General Literature Review: Processes and Stepsp. 59
Identifying and Selecting Appropriate Sourcesp. 61
Relevancy, Accuracy, and Value of Online Sourcesp. 64
Online Literature Reviewp. 65
What Experts Have to Sayp. 70
Organizing Sources and Themes in the Literature Reviewp. 71
Writing the Reviewp. 73
Key Termsp. 80
Discussion Questionsp. 80
Suggested Topicsp. 80
Online Activitiesp. 81
Designing Research Questionsp. 83
What Drives a Study?p. 84
Starting Point for Generating Questionsp. 84
Research Considerationsp. 88
Research Design and Research Questionsp. 89
Research Questions as a Blueprint or Frameworkp. 89
The Research Statementp. 93
Characteristics of Good Research Questionsp. 93
Questions, Questions, Questions: Examples and Practicep. 96
Research Umbrella as a Source for Research Questionsp. 96
Broad Themes, Subthemes, and Research Questionsp. 99
Returning to the Literature Reviewp. 101
Blending Ideas to Achieve Refined Overarching Questionsp. 101
Research Questions, Chronology, and Writingp. 103
Summaryp. 104
Key Termsp. 104
Discussion Questionsp. 104
Suggested Topicsp. 105
Online Activitiesp. 105
Identifying Data Sets to Inform Inquiryp. 107
Revisiting Questionsp. 108
Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methodsp. 108
Data Versus Data Setsp. 114
Data Sets That Informp. 116
Aligning Multiple Forms of Data with Overarching Questionsp. 117
Triangulation and the Triangulation Matrixp. 121
Qualitative Data Instruments and Schedulesp. 123
Research and Data Collection Schedulesp. 130
Summaryp. 132
Key Termsp. 135
Discussion Questionsp. 135
Suggested Topicsp. 135
Online Activitiesp. 136
The Action Researcher's Toolsp. 137
Tools for Conducting Researchp. 138
Reflective Practicep. 145
Identifying and Collecting Artifactsp. 154
Making Use of Electronic Sources and Technologyp. 154
Summaryp. 157
Key Termsp. 158
Discussion Questionsp. 158
Suggested Topicsp. 159
Online Activitiesp. 159
Organizing, Coding, and Analyzing Qualitative Datap. 163
Getting Startedp. 164
Collecting and Analyzing Datap. 165
Organizing Datap. 169
Revisiting the Triangulation Matrixp. 171
Examining the Piecesp. 171
Examining Individual Data Sets and Subsetsp. 173
Coding and Analyzingp. 189
Identifying Categories and Defining Attributesp. 191
The Big Picturep. 196
Summaryp. 197
Key Termsp. 197
Discussion Questionsp. 197
Suggested Topicsp. 198
Online Activitiesp. 198
The Action Research Reportp. 201
Writing the Action Research Reportp. 202
Rationale for Writing the Reportp. 203
Componentsp. 203
Tips for Writingp. 204
Reporting and Presenting Findingsp. 206
The Action Research Report Assignmentp. 213
Summaryp. 216
Key Termp. 216
Discussion Questionsp. 216
Suggested Topicsp. 217
Online Activitiesp. 217
Designing and Implementing the Action Planp. 219
The Action Planp. 220
Rationalep. 221
Purposep. 221
When Is an Action Plan Appropriate?p. 222
Informed Decision Makingp. 223
Designing the Planp. 224
Componentsp. 225
Using Findings to Inform Designp. 230
Continuous Improvementp. 230
Summaryp. 231
Key Termsp. 231
Discussion Questionsp. 231
Suggested Topicsp. 232
Online Activitiesp. 232
Online Resources for Human Subjects Training and Institutional Review Board Informationp. 235
Glossaryp. 237
Referencesp. 243
Indexp. 245
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