While written for mastersAE students in any Educational Leadership concentration, this is a core text for departments that teach action research as a primary research methodology or a supplemental text for those that place it in a range of research methods.
The book provides a readable overview of the PAR process similar to professional learning communities in schools. Its design reaches out to visual learners as graphic elements guide graduate students through the research methods they need to successfully complete rigorous projects.
The results of the original PAR study and continued work with educational leaders lead us to believe that this approach ultimately produces the results school leaders seek and appreciate.
o Clear process through both the PAR steps employing a research logic model throughout.
This benefits the graduate student or educational leader by leading them to data driven outcomes that are valid, credible and reliableGraphic elements guide the reader through the process and aid the visual learner in keeping track of the concepts behind the theory.
o Reflective questions precede each section. This increases the reflective practices and routines of the reader as appropriate to the PAR process.
o Tasks, written for both groups and individuals, aid participatory teams in working towards consensus and strong research designs
o Practitioner stories make the lessons real and ease the emotional unease that come from tackling research practices the first time.
Intended Audience: This book represents the evolution of PAR from a soft science to a process appropriate for educators in todayAEs data driven environments or for graduate students whose thesis needs to pass the recommendations of professors steeped in positivist traditions.
Dr. E. Alana James, received her Ed.D. in educational leadership from Teachers College in 2005. Since then she has helped over 30 doctoral candidates in either educational leadership or business move through the process on to graduation. Working primarily as supervisor for a number of online for profit universities, but also sometimes in the role of committee member, she identified the key places and challenges that created extra stress and, unfortunately, sometimes breakdown. This book and her work developing DoctoralNet.com is in reaction to those difficulties and will, with adoption, increase graduation rates for those working towards a PhD or other type of doctoral degree. You can follow DoctoralNet on twitter, facebook or Google +. Dr James also specializes in action research and has used that transformative process throughout the development of the techniques and strategies outlined herein. Information about her other books can be found on the website for Sage Publishing. A believer in the doctoral process as a rite of passage that releases the greatest potential in life, she reinvented her own life to move half way around the world from where she began. Living in Ireland with her partner, their two dogs and a cat she authors nonfiction work on health and wellness on her personal website at ealanajames.com where you can connect with her as a writer, a consultant or speaker.
Acknowledgments Introduction Welcome to PAR for Educational Leaders Our Approach to PAR Our Readers Features How to Use This Book Final Notes 1. The Participatory Action Research Model Reflective Questions Section 1: PAR---A Tool for Change PAR as a Tool for Educational Leadership Reflective Questions Section 2: Research and Action in the PAR Process Reflective Questions Section 3: Participatory Research as a Tool to Address Adaptive Change An Example of PAR Use in the Classroom Task 1.1: Beginning a Reflective Journal Conclusion 2. The Tenets of PAR: Ethics, Purpose, and Logic Reflective Questions Section 1: Ethics Ethical Elements Task 2.1: The Formation of an Ethical Plan for PAR Projects Reflective Questions Section 2: The Power of Purpose Format for Purpose Statements Task 2.2: Multiple Journal Entries Define Purpose Reflective Questions Section 3: Logic Models Task 2.3: Planning Your First Draft of Your Logic Model Conclusion 3. Starting to Research Reflective Questions Section 1: Asking Good Research Questions Task 3.1: PAR Practitioners Reflect On and Share Their Initials Ideas for Research Questions Surfacing Assumptions Task 3.2: Surfacing Assumptions Reflective Questions Section 2: Informal and Formal Reviews of Literature Task 3.3: The Mini "Lit Review" Reflective Questions Section 3: A Brief Overview of the Basic Research Methods Qualitative Methods Quantitative Methods Reflective Practice Task 3.4: Reflective Journal Practice Conclusion 4. Qualitative Data Collection How Is Qualitative Evidence Useful? What Makes Qualitative Evidence Difficult? Reflective Questions Section 1: Qualitative Data Collection Methods Data Collected Directly in Words From People: Interviews and Focus Groups Data Collected Through a Process of Change: Reflective Data/Field Notes/Anecdotal Accounts Data Collected During the Event(s) Being Studied: Observations/Student Work/Logs Task 4.1: Collecting a Variety of Qualitative Data Reflective Questions Section 2: Maximum Success and Rigor Managing Time and Resources How to Make It More Rigorous Introduction to Mixed Methodology Task 4.2: Data-Planning Matrix Conclusion 5. Qualitative Analysis Reflective Questions Section 1: Stages in Analyzing Qualitative Evidence Graphic Organizers Codes Memos Families Triangulation Rubrics and Multiple Observers Similarities and Differences Reflective Questions Section 2: Validity, Credibility, and Reliability in the Analysis of Qualitative Data Task 5.1: Practice Analysis of Data Conclusion 6. Quantitative Evidence Data Found in Schools Standardized Tests Reflective Questions Section 1: Questions Answered by Quantitative and Mixed Methods Evidence Observations and Time Studies Surveys or Questionnaires Descriptive Statistics Variance and Correlation Complex Questions Reflective Questions Section 2: Quantitative Data Collection Observations Questionnaires or Surveys Samples Time Series Reflective Questions Section 3: Analysis and Statistical Information Descriptive Analysis Frequencies Survey Analysis Percentages and Mean Standard Deviation The t-Test Correlation Reporting Results Task 6.1: Preliminary Quantitative Analysis Conclusion 7. Taking and Measuring Action Reflective Questions Section 1: How to Know What Actions to Take Three Continuums of Action The Continuum of Actions From Emancipatory to Professional Development The Continuum From the Individual to the Organizational Examples of PAR to Foster School Improvement Teachers or Support Staff in a Classroom or Whole-School Setting Principals Whole Schools or School Districts Reflective Question Section 2: Efforts at Change The Challenge of Inertia Defensive Behaviors Task 7.1: Analyzing Force Fields and Defensive Behaviors Reflective Questions Section 3: Measurement Formative Evaluation Focus and Responsiveness Determining Variables With Which to Measure Short-Term Outcomes Measuring Outcome Steps Conclusion 8. Cycles of PAR: The Power of the Iterative Process Reflective Questions Section 1: Messy Cycles Reflective Questions Section 2: Iterative Growth Diagnosis Action Measurement Reflection Time Line and Group Process for Significant Success Task 8.1: Using the Forward Planner Reflective Questions Section 3: Theoretical Understanding Bolsters Action and Visa Versa Conclusion 9. Final Analysis and Results Alchemy Reasoning and Writing Standards for the Final Analysis Reflective Questions Section 1: Validity My "Real" World--or Yours? Theory Building and Testing Reporting the Analysis Process to Others Task 9.1: Building a Preliminary Report on the Analysis Process for Others Reflective Questions Section 2: Credible Interpretation Graphic Organizers Compelling Arguments Disclaimers Reflective Questions Section 3: Reliability Fallacy Reflective Questions Section 4: Passionate Conclusions Task 9.2: One Sentence and Three Words Conclusion 10. The Final Report Reflective Questions Section 1: The Formal Report The Formal Academic Report Reflective Questions Section 2: The Formal Presentation Prior to Beginning Constraints Openings and Closings Content and How to Present It Reflective Questions Section 3: The Informal Individual Report Reflective Questions Section 4: The Community Report Conclusion 11. PAR for Educational Leadership Reflective Questions Section 1: A Creative Tool in Environments of Chaos and Complexity Counteracting Educator Mobility Inclusion: Both/And Rather Than Either/Or The Need for Flexibility Prediction: The Study of Outliers Feedback Loops Reflective Questions Section 2: A Tool for Adaptive Leadership Creating a Holding Environment Avoiding Implementation Failure Reflective Questions Section 3: PAR and Educational Reform Efforts Professional Learning Communities and Communities of Practice What Is Required? The Development of an Inclusive Leadership Structure Conclusion Glossary References Index About the Authors