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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 This highly diverse collection of previously unpublished and published works offers a sampling of opinions on key theoretical and methodological questions, complemented by a wide range of critical action research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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20 From Deficit to Abundance in the Classroom; Or What I Learned From Jayda


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From Deficit to Abundance in the Classroom; Or What I Learned From Jayda1

Lisa Sibbett

Midmorning at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School, and I am hurrying from Portable 98, where I am a teacher intern in Language Arts, all the way across campus to Room 173, where I am assigned to U.S. History. Some of the students I teach are headed the same direction, gleefully cussing and hollering with their friends. Some cuss and holler back and forth to each other in English and then Spanish, while others slide fluidly between Somali and Arabic. I am learning to hear the difference. The hallway is all jostling and jockeying, some kids sneering at each other, others high fiving, while teachers, administrators, and security guards alternately hassle and cajole: “Get to class, Kadir, hurry up! Let’s go, Serena!” I dart through the crush, apparently going the opposite direction of everyone else. And now ahead of me coming through the din I hear the lovely plunking of ukuleles, and now the throng parts a little, and here are some members of the football team, longhaired and ambling and grinning as they strum their tunes. As I finally approach the North wing, the halls begin to empty. A few kids are practicing breakdancing moves outside the Proyecto Saber room. “Let’s go!” a security guard shouts behind me, and the bell rings. The dancers and I grin at each other as we duck...

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