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Article

Jane Wilkinson, Christine Edwards-Groves, Peter Grootenboer and Stephen Kemmis

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Catholic district offices support school leaders’ instructional leadership practices at times of major reform.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how Catholic district offices support school leaders’ instructional leadership practices at times of major reform.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs the theory of practice architectures as a lens through which to examine local site-based responses to system-wide reforms in two Australian Catholic secondary schools and their district offices. Data collection for these parallel case studies included semi-structured interviews, focus groups, teaching observations, classroom walkthroughs and coaching conversations.

Findings

Findings suggest that in the New South Wales case, arrangements of language and specialist discourses associated with a school improvement agenda were reinforced by district office imperatives. These imperatives made possible new kinds of know-how, ways of working and relating to district office, teachers and students when it came to instructional leading. In the Queensland case, the district office facilitated instructional leadership practices that actively sought and valued practitioners’ input and professional judgment.

Research limitations/implications

The research focussed on two case studies of district offices supporting school leaders’ instructional leadership practices at times of major reform. The findings are not generalizable.

Practical implications

Practically, the studies suggest that for excellent pedagogical practice to be embedded and sustained over time, district offices need to work with principals to foster communicative spaces that promote explicit dialogue between teachers and leaders’ interpretive categories.

Social implications

The paper contends that responding to the diversity of secondary school sites requires district office practices that reject a one size fits all formulas. Instead, district offices must foster site-based education development.

Originality/value

The paper adopts a practice theory approach to its study of district support for instructional leader’ practices. A practice approach rejects a one size fits all approach to educational change. Instead, it focusses on understanding how particular practices come to be in specific sites, and what kinds of conditions make their emergence possible. As such, it leads the authors to consider whether and how different practices such as district practices of educational reforming or principals’ instructional leading might be transformed, or conducted otherwise, under other conditions of possibility.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 57 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article

Herbert Altrichter, Stephen Kemmis, Robin McTaggart and Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt

Action research has been recognised for its breadth as a field of research practice and its depth as a discourse of theoretical insight. It does not have one neat, widely…

Abstract

Action research has been recognised for its breadth as a field of research practice and its depth as a discourse of theoretical insight. It does not have one neat, widely accepted definition. Points to some reasons for the difficulty of formulating a generally accepted definition of action research, and argues why action research should not be confined but should be both clarified for communication and open for development. The discussion stems from a working definition developed with participants in an international symposium that serves as a classic definition of action research. Presents several alternative approaches to resolution and argues for a judicious mix of pragmatism and flexibility in approaching the definition issue.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Owen Barden

Defining and describing research methodologies is difficult. Methodologies have similarities and resonances, and overlapping characteristics. Familiar labels of case…

Abstract

Purpose

Defining and describing research methodologies is difficult. Methodologies have similarities and resonances, and overlapping characteristics. Familiar labels of case study, action research and ethnography may not be adequate to describe new and creative approaches to qualitative research. If we simply transfer old ways to new contexts, we risk limiting our understanding of the complexities of real life settings. The call to set aside old dualisms and devise new methodological approaches has been sounded. Accordingly, this article sets out to describe a fledgling new methodological approach, and how it was operationalized in a small‐scale study of digitally‐mediated classroom learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology combines elements of action research and case study with an ethnographic approach. It was devised for a study of the use of Facebook as an educational resource by five dyslexic students at a sixth form college in north‐west England. Its flexibility and attention to detail enabled multiple data collection methods. This range of methods enabled meticulous analysis of many of the group's online and offline interactions with each other and with Facebook as they co‐constructed their group Facebook page.

Findings

Reflexively combining elements of case study, action research and ethnography thus helped capture the “connected complexities” (Davies) of this contemporary classroom setting. This is necessary if researchers are to obtain any meaningful understanding of how learning happens in such contexts.

Originality/value

The author hopes to contribute to the discourse on qualitative methodology and invites other researchers studying similar contexts to consider a similar approach.

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Article

Alan Earl‐Slater

Looks at where action research has been used in health care in the UK and suggests lessons can be learned by looking at action research taking place in other fields, such…

Abstract

Looks at where action research has been used in health care in the UK and suggests lessons can be learned by looking at action research taking place in other fields, such as education, policing and social services.

Details

British Journal of Clinical Governance, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-4100

Keywords

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Article

Ortrun Zuber‐Skerritt and Mary Farquhar

This paper is an edited version of an interview that presents information and insight into the background of ALARPM (action learning, action research and process…

Abstract

This paper is an edited version of an interview that presents information and insight into the background of ALARPM (action learning, action research and process management) not only as a field but also as a worldwide network association, thus facilitating understanding of the evolution and nature of these three concepts. The interviewee’s responses reflect her personal perspective, informed by both life experience and a theoretical framework that conceives of ALARPM first as a philosophy, a theory of learning and a methodology, and second as a method and technique.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Article

Gabrielle Gardiner, Jemima McDonald, Alex Byrne and Kirsten Thorpe

This paper aims to demonstrate the work being done to develop a trusted digital archive for social sciences data relating to the indigenous peoples of Australia. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate the work being done to develop a trusted digital archive for social sciences data relating to the indigenous peoples of Australia. It explores the issues that arise through respectful engagement with both indigenous communities and research communities as well as the development of pragmatic and effective data management planning strategies for higher education researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

As a conceptual paper, the approach consists of a review of the current situation, a discussion of the work already undertaken by the project team, and an analysis of the challenges being faced and plans for ongoing development of the project.

Findings

There are major challenges in tackling a project with issues of such complexity but the project has great significance because its success could contribute enormously to the indigenous communities to which the research relates while building the capacity of researchers to design respectful and effective data management strategies.

Practical implications

This project is rapidly evolving and the strategies for managing it are dynamic as the layers of complexity are unfolded and the project team addresses issues arising from the materials and groups with which it is working.

Social implications

The impact of this project has already reaped dividends for the communities involved. Indigenous communities whose intellectual property or knowledge has seeded the research are having material returned to them in digital formats that are useful to them and which provide accurate portrayals of their knowledge, communities and culture. Researchers using the service provided by ATSIDA are confident that their material is being curated and reused appropriately. The work done by the ATSIDA team in building protocols and guidelines around research data will influence public policy, particularly in the work of collecting agencies and in their application to situations other than indigenous.

Originality/value

ATSIDA fills a gap in informed research management. There is no other project like it anywhere in the world. This paper is valuable to anyone working in or considering higher education research in an indigenous area and is applicable to other research dealing with identifiable and vulnerable communities.

Abstract

Details

Action Learning and Action Research: Genres and Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-537-5

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