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Beyond Actions

Psychology of Action Research for Mindful Educational Improvement


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 6· Letting Others Live within You: The Spirit of Working Together

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The Spirit of Working Together

Overcoming Dilemmas

In the previous chapter, we discussed the importance of conducting a needs assessment in your action research. After collecting data, you will analyze them and reflect on the needs of your practice as you consult the relevant literature for possible resources. From there, you will develop an action plan—a specific plan to meet the identified needs and improve your teaching and stuents’ learning. You will also create an assessment plan to evaluate the effectiveness of your actions.

This sounds enticing, but it is where many action researchers stumble. It is often the case that we underestimate the complexity of our practice needs, and your action research planning is no exception. For instance, suppose that in your class, you are concerned that only a handful of students participate in the whole-class discussions. From your needs assessment, you learned that a majority of them feel intimidated by the small group of students who always dominate the class discussions. Reviewing the literature, you encountered a series of research articles on the usefulness of online forums to make class discussions equitable. As an action plan, you might decide to create an online forum system that can be projected on a screen in your classroom so that all of your students can speak up and project their ideas during the whole-class ← 103 | 104 → discussions by using their tablets or smartphones. You might expect that such a carefully crafted action plan would...

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