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A Critical Action Research Reader


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 This highly diverse collection of previously unpublished and published works offers a sampling of opinions on key theoretical and methodological questions, complemented by a wide range of critical action research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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19 Narrative Study in the Classroom—Knowing What Was, What Is, and What Could Be


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Narrative Study in the Classroom—Knowing What Was, What Is, and What Could Be1

Jessica Blanchard

I stumble into the second nine weeks carrying the weight of first quarter’s baggage. Class sizes, curriculum requirements, systemic pressures, assumptions about students, about myself, and the uneasy feeling that maybe I’m just not cut out for this anymore. If only I could off-load this pressure, these worries and assumptions, like a sack of used clothes in a Good Will box. I’ve had my use of them. I don’t want them anymore. Let someone else take them. Or not. Just as long as I can drop my load and leave it all behind.

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