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Critical Action Research: How Do Graduate Students in an Introductory Research Class Conceptualize “Research”?

By: , , & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Action research design blurs the traditional distinction between researchers and practitioners, and effectively shortens the distance of the transformation from academic findings to daily practices. This research case features a critical action research project that focused on understanding graduate students’ perception of and how they position themselves in relation to “research.” We demonstrate how this research design manifests in the form of collaboration among four co-researchers/practitioners and highlights methodological and practical insights and challenges that we face at the intersection of action research and collaborative research. Findings from the study reveal the tension between the way students conceptualize research and the way they perceive themselves in relation to the research process, which we describe as “pragmatic fissures.” Our findings provide an opportunity for expanding pedagogical approaches to course delivery as well as developing innovative methodology textbook designs, echoing the emphasis of praxis in action research.

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