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A Critical Action Research Reader

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Edited By Patricia H. Hinchey

Since its inception, action research has been the subject of confusion and controversy. Can something be research if it doesn’t «prove» anything? Can something be action research if it’s a project run by an expert who does not consider participants co-researchers? Questions multiply when the general term is limited to critical action research. What makes critical action research different from action research generally?
Can the action research project of a classroom teacher intended to raise standardized test scores properly be considered critical? Is there a role for advocacy in any enterprise calling itself research? If critical action research is distinct from traditional empirical research, then what formats make sense for sharing results? This highly diverse collection of previously unpublished and published works offers a sampling of opinions on key theoretical and methodological questions, complemented by a wide range of critical action research reports illustrating what various theories look like in practice. The book provides a sketch of the topography of critical action research terrain and illuminates some diverse paths through it.

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PART 1 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF CRITICAL ACTION RESEARCH Introduction: The Contested Terrain of Critical Action Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1 The Emancipatory Character of Action Research, Its History and the Present State of the Art. . . . . . . . . . . 6 Ben W. M. Boog 2 Deploying Qualitative Methods for Critical Social Purposes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Gaile S. Cannella and Yvonna S. Lincoln 3 The Utility of Educational Action Research for Emancipatory Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Kimberly Kinsler 4 Uses of Data in Action Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Marie Brennan and Susan E. Noffke 5 Critical Advocacy Research: An Approach Whose Time Has Come. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Carolyn M. Shields 6 Limits to Knowledge and Being Human: What Is “Critical” in Critical Social Research and Theory? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Phil Francis Carspecken PART 2 CRITICAL TEACHER RESEARCH IN URBAN CONTEXTS Introduction: Teacher Research, Urban Contexts, and the Emergence of the Critical from the Practical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 7 Contextualizing Critical Action Research: Lessons from Urban Educators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Jennifer Esposito and Venus Evans-Winters 8 From Disillusionment to Hope: Bicultural Practitioner Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Eduardo Lopez xii Table of Contents 9 Teaching Beyond the Skill and Drill: Reimagining Curriculum and Learning in a High-Stakes Testing Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Jennifer Zapata 10 Big History, Little World:  The Politics of Social Justice Curriculum in Advanced Placement World History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Rachel Klimke 11 Challenging Standardized Curriculum: Recognizing, Critiquing, and Attempting to Transform the Learning Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Nien N. Tran 12 Perceptions of Health Education among Adolescents in an Urban School: A Project to Promote Empowerment and Health Literacy in an Underserved Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Inga Wilder...

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