Innovation Anchored in Tradition:
Action Research @ Glendale Community College

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Reflection on '04-'05

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Michael Dulay

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a form of inquiry that places the researcher in the context of the study. Subjectivity is, therefore, expected and built into the research design. The researcher identifies a problem, describes its context, and then takes action to address the problem. This action is rooted in an analysis of the literature pertinent to the problem, and it is followed by evaluation, reflection, and renewal. The researcher should learn and grow as a consequence of the research process. Hence, educators who engage in PAR should see changes in their own practice, which directly impacts the community and students who they serve.

Michael Dulay, 06/2005

P.A.R. Resources


Selected Definitions for Action Research

Action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants (teachers, students, or principals, for example) in social (including educational) situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own social or educational practices, (b) their understanding of these practices, and (c) the situations (and institutions) in which these practices are carried out. (Carr & Kremmis, 1986)

Carr, W. & Kremmis, S.(1986). Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge, and Action Research.  London: Falmer Press.

Methodologies may vary, but the research must maintain a commitment to notions of emancipation involving “a freeing or the mind from distortions of ignorance, ideology, irrationality, tradition, and habit so the beneficiary is able to become properly rational and  see the world right.  It entails commitment to individual autonomy and democratic principles of equality and justice”. (Parker, 1997)

Parker, S. (1997). Reflective Teaching in the Postmodern World.  Buckingham: Open University Press.


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