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Action Research: A Practice Changing Practice

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Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, CG83

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The Sage Encyclopedia of Action Research (2014) runs to 893 pages with over 300 entries suggesting that since it was first proposed by Kurt Lewin in 1946 this approach to research has matured and diversified. Its use in the classroom and the boardroom, the hospital ward and the community illustrates its wide appeal, making it difficult to pull together a comprehensive description of the practice. Most action researchers recognise that in order to understand the situation we have to disturb it - that in an attempt to understand it we change it and in changing it we have the possibility of understanding it (Schon, 1983). As Stephen Kemmis describes it: "Action research aims at changing three things: practitioners’ practices, their understandings of their practices, and the conditions in which they practice" (Kemmis 2007).

This workshop is designed for both novice and experienced action researchers. It will identify the broad principles of the approach and explore some of its challenges in post-graduate and doctoral research. It will offer an opportunity for participants to share their experience of action research and contribute to an appreciation of the various ways in which it is used by researchers at Middlesex University.

Workshop Presenter

Dr David Adams, Senior Lecturer, Business School, Faculty of Professional and Social Sciences. Dave has a PhD from the Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice, University of Bath, and is currently the co-leader on the Master of Professional Studies, the programme leader on Part One of the Doctor of Professional Studies, and a supervisor on the Doctor of Professional Studies by Public Works.


* (title adapted from Stephen Kemmis, 2007)

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Middlesex University, Hendon Campus, CG83

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