WRITING UP ACTION RESEARCH FOR PUBLICATION
Jean McNiff and Jack Whitehead
Wednesday 18 August 2010
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
PROGRAMME – TO BE NEGOTIATED
Welcome and Introduction
o Who are we?
o What do we hope to get out of the workshop?
o How are we going to do it?
9AM¬–1PM PART 1 FOCUS ON PRODUCING PRINTED TEXT
1 Overview: some issues and dilemmas
About action research
o Where are ideas today in relation to doing and writing action research?
o Different perceptions of what action research is, and is about
o Different interest groups
About use of language
o Dilemmas around language used to describe ‘writing’
o Dilemmas around genre: ‘I’ and ‘we’ as active thinkers and knowers, or abstract thought?
o Who makes these decisions?
2 The what, why and how of writing action research
o What goes into an action research report? Matters of content
o What does an action research report look like? Matters of form
o Why should you write your action research? Matters of the politics of knowledge and good social orders
3 How are action research reports judged? Matters of assessment
Writing development: what is this and how do you do it?
o How to write a good quality text for higher degree submission (masters dissertations and doctoral theses)
o How to write journal articles
o How to write books
2–4PM PART 2 FOCUS ON PRODUCING MULTIMEDIA TEXTS
This will be a practical hands-on experience that will enable you to produce, edit and publish your multimedia texts. You will learn
• How to edit a video-clip and include this with a visual narrative
• The importance of contextualising visual data to communicate your meanings
• How to transform your embodied expression of values into a visual narrative that communicates the meanings of your values as explanatory principles in your account of your educational influences in learning
WHERE CAN YOU PUBLISH?
Refereed journals that accept multimedia work
o The Educational Journal of Living Theories: http://ejolts.net/
o The Journal of Interactive Media in Education: http://www-jime.open.ac.uk/
o The Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry: http://www.tojqi.net
o Routledge: Contact http://www.routledge.com/
o Sage: Contact http://www.uk.sagepub.com/home.nav
o Wiley: Contact http://www.uk.sagepub.com/home.nav
o Open University Press: Contact http://www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/openup/index.html
AN ACTION RESEARCH PLANNER
o What is my concern?
o Why am I concerned?
o How do I gather data to show the situation as it is and as it develops?
o What can I do? What will I do?
o How do test the validity of my knowledge claim?
o How do I ensure that any conclusions I come to are reasonably fair and accurate?
o How do I modify my ideas and actions in light of my evaluation?
(see Whitehead 1989; McNiff and Whitehead 2006)
HOW IS QUALITY IN ACTION RESEARCH REPORTS JUDGED?
The quality of action research reports is judged in the following terms.
o The work contains a claim to knowledge and makes a contribution to knowledge of the field.
o The work demonstrates an ability to undertake an educational study or enquiry in an appropriately critical, original and balanced fashion.
o The work shows improvement in the practice described, or explains what may have constrained improvement.
o The work is written in an appropriate form.
o The work contains material of peer-reviewed publishable merit.
o The work is error-free and technically accurate with a full bibliography and references.
(Adapted from the University of Bath 2008)
WHAT GOES INTO AN ACTION RESEARCH REPORT? MATTERS OF CONTENT
An action research report contains the following.
o Descriptions of practice
o Explanations for practice
o Critical reflection on the descriptions and explanations
In terms of content, an action research report is judged in relation to the following.
o The work contains a claim to knowledge and explains its significance for the field
o It demonstrates the validity and originality of the claim by showing your critical understanding of the processes involved
o It shows improvement in learning, practice and research within the context, or gives reasons for lack of improvement
WHAT DOES AN ACTION RESEARCH REPORT LOOK LIKE? MATTERS OF FORM
In terms of form, an action research is judged in relation to the following.
o The text takes a narrative form, and is commensurable with the form of research
o It communicates processes of deconstruction
o The form is transformational and catalytic
o The text demonstrates methodological rigour
o The text demonstrates critical and dialectical reflexivity
o The text demonstrates rhetorical validity
KEY POINTS ABOUT WRITING FOR PUBLICATION
Aim to write in a way that is comprehensible, authentic, truthful and appropriate
o Comprehensibility: you write for a reader; you ensure clarity of expression by using a minimalist form; structure your text to show the process of a systematic action enquiry.
o Authenticity: you show that your actions, research and scholarship may be trusted.
o Truthfulness: you show that your account may be believed by producing data and evidence, adopting stringent validity procedures, and offering explanations throughout for what you are doing.
o Appropriateness: you show that you are aware of normative contexts, including normative epistemologies, through reflexive and dialectical critique.
USEFUL REFERENCE WORKS
Cresswell, J. W. (2007) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches. Thousand Oaks, Sage.
Dadds, M. and Hart, S. (2001) Doing Practitioner Research Differently. London, Routledge.
Eisner, E. (2005) Reimagining Schools: The selected works of Elliot W. Eisner. Abingdon, Routledge.
Herr, K. and Anderson, G.L. (2005) The Action Research Dissertation: A guide for students and faculty. Thousand Oaks, CA., Sage.
Jones, C. (2009) How do I improve my practice as an inclusion officer working in a children's service Bath Spa University? Masters thesis, Bath Spa University. Retrieved 13 August 2010 from http://www.actionresearch.net/living/cjmaok/cjma.htm
Lothian, M. (2010) How can I improve my practice to enhance the teaching of literacy? PhD thesis, McGill University. Retrieved 13 August 2010 from http://www.actionresearch.net/living/marianlothianphdopt.pdf
McNiff, J. (2010) Action Research for Professional Development: Concise Advice for new (and experienced) action researchers. New revised edition. Dorset, September Books.
McNiff, J. (2011) (in preparation) Writing for Publication in Action Research. Dorset, September. Please contact Jean for further information at email@example.com
McNiff, J. and Whitehead, J. (2009) Doing and Writing Action Research. London, Sage.
Whitehead, J. (2008) Using A Living Theory Methodology In Improving Practice And Generating Educational Knowledge in Living Theories. Educational Journal of Living Theories, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 104-126 . Retrieved 13 August 2010 from http://ejolts.net/node/80
NEW BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!
NEW BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!
JEAN MCNIFF'S (2010) ACTION RESEARCH FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: CONCISE ADVICE FOR NEW (AND EXPERIENCED) ACTION RESEARCHERS. DORSET, SEPTEMBER BOOKS. PLEASE GO TO WWW.SEPTEMBER-BOOKS.COM FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
THIS BOOK IS A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION AND HAS LOTS OF EXAMPLES, EXERCISES AND REALLY PRACTICAL ADVICE THAT ENGAGES WITH FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ACTION RESEARCH. IT GIVES A CONCISE THEORETICAL OVERVIEW FOR ACTION RESEARCH AS WELL AS OUTLINING ITS HISTORICAL ROOTS. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!
Go to www.september-books.com to order and to see further information about the book and its contents.