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Beyond Actions

Psychology of Action Research for Mindful Educational Improvement

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Norijuki Inoue

Beyond Actions is a new breed of book on action research, going beyond procedural descriptions of action research and discusses psychological processes and epistemological challenges involved in planning and conducting action research. The book discusses in depth key concepts of action research and the ways in which these concepts actually contribute to the improvement of educational practice by assuming the viewpoint of educators. Dr. Inoue offers ample opportunities for readers to deeply reflect on personal, social, cultural, and philosophical foundations of practice improvement efforts and develop a comprehensive understanding of action research. Beyond Actions is targeted to educators, educational researchers, principals, and students taking graduate-level courses in action research, educational research methods, educational psychology, education foundations, educational leadership, and other related fields as well as anyone seeking a new methodology for mindful educational improvement.

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Chapter 4. Validity of Inquiry: Mindful Action Research Design

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· 4 · validity of inquiry Mindful Action Research Design Validity Now that you have your initial action research question, you may have the urge to jump into your project by taking action and seeing how things go. But please wait. Before doing so, you need to carefully plan and design your project as you explore the most meaningful ways to conduct your project. In doing so, you may want to understand various definitions of “good research.” In this chapter, you will consider this issue in terms of validity. Validity is the concept used to judge how well the research was conducted—such as the accuracy of the measurement done in the research, the cogency of the reason- ing done by the researchers, and the overall meaningfulness of the research (Messick, 1995, 1989). An important point to capture here is that validity is a multifaceted concept. You will benefit from learning about various validity concepts and using them in planning your action research project. In this chapter, we will first discuss validity concepts that are considered to be important in positivistic research, mainly focusing on the objective dimension and logical coherency of research. In Chapter 2, we discussed that positivism resides at one end of the continuum between subjectivity and objec- tivity. Thus, validity concepts commonly discussed in positivistic research could be used to evaluate the objective dimension of your action research project. 52 beyond actions We will then discuss validity concepts that are commonly discussed in the con- text of action...

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