How can action
research support
educational reform?
New Mexico State University
College of Education
1
Three Perspectives of
Action Research Activity
Perla Barbosa - A Doctoral Student who meets with
preservice teachers to ask critical questions about
practice
Dr. Jessica Blanchard - A Middle School Teacher whose
dissertation action research investigation in the classroom
examined a methodology of systematic study and loving
practice
Dr. Candace Kaye – Graduate Faculty whose graduate
students use the action research process for their exit
required comprehensive examination
Preservice Teachers’ perceptions on their
learning to teach and teaching for learning: An
Epistemological Breakthrough
Perla Barbosa
Doctoral Student
Literacy, Language & Culture
Department of Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education
New Mexico State University
3
Teacher Education
THE REFORM STARTS WITH CONSCIENTIZATION (Freire, 1970) TOWARDS HOW TEACHERS UNVEIL THE SYSTEM AND
DEVELOP THEIR CLASSROOM PRACTICES -Dialogical and Dialectical interactions.
My work with Preservice Teachers in the
Secondary Education Program
1. What’s my role? University supervisor on preservice teachers’ practicum.
2. What do I do? I observe practicum students ONCE in situ, provide them written feedback and
scores according to a form developed by the College of Education.
3. What is the practicum students’ role? To fulfill a required 42 hours at their site by shadowing
their co-op teacher and developing mini-lessons and whole group lessons. Some courses require
a whole week of teaching called ‘lesson in a series’.
4. Striving for working through a critical perspective lenses by sharing constructive written
feedback, cultural circles and written surveys.
Is this an effective/formative model in which preservice teacher develop
critical thinking on educational structure?
or
Is it a roadblock to teachers’ coming to conscientization?
Are we perpetuating the “banking approach of education” through our
own practices as teacher educators?
4
Teacher Education
Stage I - Developing awareness on one’s own conditions as
educators with four preservice teachers
How do preservice teachers’ make meaning on their
learning process as they learn to become teachers? …
(1)To consider what they understand about the school structure
and this structure shapes their practices?
(2)To consider the bodies of knowledge they develop throughout
their practicum to navigate in the classroom (teaching, learning
and environment)?
5
Teacher Education
Stage II- Reframing one’s own ways of “reading” their
learning process within a specific context
(conscientization)
What will the group (I am part of the group - emic and
etic perspectives) learn from this process?
(1)About the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of
evaluation?
(2)About school structure and classroom relationships?
(3)About the role of coursework on their practicum? (praxis)
(4)About ourselves?
6
Teacher Education
Stage III- An Epistemological breakthrough: Dialoguing
for individual and collective understanding and actions
What does the group plan to do with the knowledge they developed
throughout the process?
(1)Can they modify/improve their instruction within the constraints of institutional norms?
(see the transdisciplinary approach of teaching)
(2)Can they find procedures (language=discourse strategies) to negotiate the way they
envision to teach with their co-op teachers?
(3)How can they make their own connections between the college coursework and their
practicum?
(4)How does this research experience contribute for their self-perceptions as professional
and humans, and perceiving the “Other” in terms of learning differences and their origins?
7
References
Cammarota, J., & Fine, M. (Eds.). (2008). Revolutionizing education: Youth participatory action
research in motion. New York, NY: Routledge
Torres, M. N. & Reyes, L. V. (2011). Research as Praxis: Democratizing Education Epistemologies.
New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge and action research.
Barcombe, UK: The Falmer Press.
Chambers, R. (2002). Participatory workshops. London, England: Earthscan.
Clandinin, D.J. (1985) Personal practical knowledge: A study of teachers’ classroom images.
Curriculum Inquiry, 15(4), 361-385.
Fals-Borda, O. (1985). Knowledge and people's power: Lessons with peasants in Nicaragua, Mexico,
and Colombia (B. Maller, Trans.). New Delhi, India: Indian Social Institute. [If this is out of print, I have
it in pdf]
Fals-Borda, O. & Rahman, M. A. (Eds.) (1991), Action and knowledge: Breaking the monopoly with
participatory action research. New York, NY: The Apex Press.
Freire, P. (1992). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.
Fromm, E. (1968). The revolution of hope: Toward a humanized society. New York, NY: Harper and
Row.
Kumar, S. (2002). Methods for community participation: A complete guide for practitioners. Bourton,
UK: ITDG Publishing.
Liakopoulou, M. (2012). The role of field experience in the preparation of reflective teachers.
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 37(6), 42-54.
Max-Neef, M. A. (1991). Human scale development: Conception, application and further reflections.
New York, NY: The Apex Press.
McTaggart, Robin (1997) (Ed.), Participatory Action Research: International Contexts and
Consequences. New York, NY: State University of New York Press.
Smith, S. E., Willms, D. G., & Johnson, N. A. (1997). Nurtured by knowledge: Learning to do
participatory action research, New York, NY: The Apex Press.
8
Critical Love Praxis: A
Methodology of Systematic
Study and Loving Practice
Jessica Blanchard, Ph.D.
College of Education
New Mexico State University
Situation
• Didn’t like the teacher I was becoming
• Authoritarian, dehumanizing practices
• “Oh! You are a teacher? You must love kids!” 
contradiction
So, then…
• What does it mean to “love” in the classroom?
• How can I better my practice through love?
Critical Love Praxis
• Dissertation Study: Critical love praxis in a middle school
classroom---Exploring the struggles, outcomes, and
possibilities of loving practice through critical practitioner
action research and autoethnography. (Blanchard, 2012)
• Operationalization of Critical Love Ethic
• Systematic study of effort(s) to build and sustain loving
practice in the classroom
Love Defined
• Act of will, a choice (Fromm, 1956; Peck, 1978/2003; hooks, 2001)
• Purposeful and sustained acts of Care, Commitment,
Respect, Responsibility, Trust, and Knowledge (hooks, 2001)
• Humanizing power of love (Freire, 1970, 1998; Darder, 2002; Gay, 2000; Knight, 2004)
• Feminist Care Theory – paying attention, safety,
reciprocity, cultural self-reflection (Cassidy & Bates, 2005; Fisher, 2001; Gay, 2000;
Knight, 2004; Noddings, 2005; Rolón-Dow, 2005; Ropers-Huilman, 1998; Valenzuela, 1999)
Critical Practitioner Action
Research
•Practitioner Action Research (Anderson et al., 2007) – study develops
organically from the “inside” – researcher identifies problematic
situation in her/his own setting
•Participatory Action Research (Kemmis & McTaggart, 2000) – goal of study
is to improve situation for all participants involved in
problematic situation
•Desire to examine manifestations of power-laden assumptions
and behaviors within teacher-role (Brookfield, 1995; Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Kemmis &
McTaggart, 2000)
Through Critical Exposure and
Reflection
• Renew and improve practice
• Legitimate teacher knowledge
• Create new knowledge based on grounded selfstudy
(Anderson et al., 2007; Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Kemmis & McTaggart, 2000; Strauss & Corbin, 1990)
Knowing through Story
• Autoethnography – a method of autobiographical writing and research used to
study own experiences in order to understand and assign meaning to them or
to future experiences lived in a similar or different cultural context (Clandinin &
Connelly, 1994, 2000; Ellis & Bochner, 1996, 2000; Richardson, 1997, 2000)
•
•
Inquirical process of knowing experiences
Representation of experience in the context of what was, what is, and
what could be (Carr, 1986; Clandinin & Connelly, 1994, 2000; Denzin, 2000; Ellis & Bochner, 1996,
2000; Polkinghorne, 1988, 1995; Richardson, 1997, 2000)
• Explanatory Narrative – magnifies the manner in which human thought and
action temporarily impacted the outcome of experience as remembered by the
researcher (Carr, 1986; Polkinghorne, 1988, 1995)
• Authorial Voice of Authority (Richardson, 1997)
• Communication of Meaning – engagement with readers through accessible,
plausible, evocative, and meaningful text (Ellis & Bochner, 1996; 2000; Richardson, 1997, 2000)
Anderson, G. L., Herr, K. G., & Nihlen, A. S. (2007). Studying your own school: An educator’s guide to
practitioner action research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Blanchard, J. A. (2012). Critical love praxis in a middle school classroom---Exploring the struggles, outcomes,
and possibilities of loving practice through critical practitioner action research and autoethnography. New
Mexico State University. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/1239562124?accountid=12810.(1239562124)
Brookfield, S. D. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Carr, D. (1986). Time, narrative, and history. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge, and action research. New York, NY:
Deakin
University Press.
Cassidy, W., & Bates, A. (2005). Drop-outs and push-outs: Finding hope at a school that actualizes the ethic of
care.
American Journal of Education, 112(1), 66—103.
Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (1994). Personal experience methods. In N. K. Denzin & Y. E. Lincoln (Eds.),
Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 413—427). London: Sage.
Clandinin, D. J., & Connelly, F. M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative research. San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Darder, A. (2002). Reinventing Paulo Freire: A pedagogy of love. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Denzin, N. K. (2000). The practices and politics of interpretation. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.),
Handbook of
qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 897—922). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ellis, C. E., & Bochner, A. P. (1996). Composing ethnography: Alternative forms of qualitative writing. Walnut
Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Ellis, C. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2000). Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: Researcher as subject. In
N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 733—768). Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage.
Fisher, B. M. (2001). No angel in the classroom: Teaching through feminist discourse. Lanham, MD: Rowman &
Littlefield.
Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.
Freire, P. (1998). Teachers as cultural workers: Letters to those who dare teach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Fromm, E. (1956). The art of loving: An enquiry into the nature of love. New York, NY: Harper Colophon Books.
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY:
Teachers College Press.
hooks, b. (2001). All about love: New visions. New York, NY: Perennial.
Kemmis, S. ,& McTaggart, R. (2000). Participatory action research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln
(Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 567—605). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Knight, M. G. (2004). Sensing the urgency: Envisioning a Black humanist vision of care in
teacher education. Race, Ethnicity, and Education 7, 211—227.
Noddings, N. (2005). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education (2nd
ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Peck, M. S. (1978/2003). The road less traveled: A new psychology of love, traditional values and
spiritual growth. New York, NY: Touchstone.
Polkinghorne, D. E. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany: State University of
New York Press.
Polkinghorne, D. E. (1995). Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. In J. A. Hatch & R.
Wisniewski (Eds.), Life History and Narrative (pp. 5—23). London: The Falmer Press.
Richardson, L. (1997). Fields of play: Constructing an academic life. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University Press.
Richardson, L. (2000). Writing: A method of inquiry. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.),
Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 923—948). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rolón-Dow, R. (2005). Critical care: A color(full) analysis of care narratives in the schooling
experiences of Puerto Rican girls. American Educational Research Journal, 42(1), 77—111.
Ropers-Huilman, B. (1998). Feminist teaching in theory and practice: Situating power and
knowledge in poststructural classrooms. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Strauss A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded procedures and
techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany:
State University of New York Press.
How can action research
support educational reform
in a graduate program?
Candace Kaye, Ph.D.
Graduate Faculty
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
New Mexico State University
Vision of Our
Department
We envision and enact dispositions, competencies,
and pedagogies that will build and sustain social
justice communities within geo-political, socio-cultural,
and historical contexts.
These contexts inform how knowledge is shaped and
represented, transforming classrooms, schools, and
communities.
Action Research supports
Our Departmental Vision of
Social
Justice
Action research participants are able to participate
democratically in deciding how to use the knowledge gained
to engage in collective action and dialogic understanding for
solving problems.
By acknowledging participants’ agency and valuing their
knowledge and experiences, we increase the chances that
research results and experiences will be highly relevant and
responsive to participants’ needs and growth, to other
communities and society at large.
Research and publication by colleagues, Torres, M. &
Reyes, L. (2011). Research as praxis: Democratizing
Overview of AR in My
Graduate Program within the
Department
The action research projects have placed the graduate
students in the driving seat of their learning,
professional growth, and activism.
Our Action Research Graduate
Projects for Reform – Some
Learnings
•Action research projects have been a method to systematically explore the
nature of practice and to improve it.
•Action research projects have encouraged participants to become knowledgemakers, rather than merely knowledge-users.
•Action research projects have used action as a means of research where
planned change is implemented, monitored and analysed.
•As the action research projects research proceed, wider links have been
identified and included for future action.
•Action research projects have begun as individual projects, but the individuals
find that they work collaboratively.
A Major Learning
The ECED Action Research Projects have blurred the
boundaries among research, education, and activism,
and instead, interplayed them all!
The graduate students recognize that they own the
knowledge gained and through this awareness can
seek action.
Thank you for this
opportunity from the three of
us!
Perla
Jessica
Candace
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NMSU Action Research - International and Border Programs